Mum Alison’s joy as Makaton choir will perform at Wembley

​FOUNDER of charity ‘FASD Awareness NI’, Kinallen lady Alison McNamara is in full fundraising mode ahead of a fabulous opportunity – a mega-concert at Wembley’s OVO Arena which will feature her two sons, who are both members of the Beechlawn Makaton Choir.
Alison McNamara and her husband Brian, along with children Jordan and Reece. C2348507Alison McNamara and her husband Brian, along with children Jordan and Reece. C2348507
Alison McNamara and her husband Brian, along with children Jordan and Reece. C2348507

​The choir is very much a labour of love for enthusiastic choir master Aileen Blunn, a teacher at Beechlawn Special School in Hillsborough, where Alison’s teenage sons, Jordan and Reece, are educated.

The talented young singers of Beechlawn Makaton Choir are so outstanding that theirs is the only musical ensemble from Northern Ireland to have been selected to join choirs from throughout the UK at the OVO Arena, Wembley, on March 20, 2024, alongside singing legend Darren Day, as part of the annual ‘Voice in a Million’ musical extravaganza – a huge event which brings together thousands of children from all backgrounds and levels of ability.

Alison is hoping to raise £1,000 towards the purchase of bespoke hoodies and T-shirts for the young singers to wear at the event.

Alison is raising money through a dedicated GoFundMe page, and through a raffle – having received fabulous memorabilia in the form of football jerseys donated by the Jamie Carraghan foundation – a charity named after the legendary Liverpool player.

The jerseys were worn by the Liverpool side when they spectacularly won the UEFA Champions League final in Istanbul against AC Milan in 2005, so they are amazing prizes!

‘FASD’ stands for ‘Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders’, and the Kinallen mother of two founded the community/lobbying group with her husband Brian to raise awareness of the dangers associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

As the adoptive mum of two boys affected by FASD – Jordan (14) and Reece (15) – it is a matter of personal despair to the English-born former nursery nurse that there isn’t more awareness around this issue.

Alison explained that she is very much looking forward to heading over to Wembley next March: "This choir means so much to me as my boys are in it.

“The songs they are singing are so poignant - I will need a bucket of tissues!

"I've been in tears just watching the practice videos. Wembley Stadium will be full, there will be 5,000 children there.

"Jordan can’t wait to perform – he is glued in front of YouTube practising!”

Now celebrating its 15th year, Voice In A Million presents an opportunity of a lifetime for schoolchildren from all backgrounds throughout the UK to come together and perform in front of their own family and friends, and the general public.

To donate to kind-hearted Alison’s GoFundMepage, visit

For more information on FASD Awareness NI or to purchase raffle tickets, email Alison at [email protected] or contact the group via their Facebook page .