TWO courageous men from Reading who had their voice boxes removed after battling throat cancer will be performing in a very unique choir.

Ian Bradshaw and Andrew Pett joined the choir, formed of members who have undergone a laryngectomy (the surgical removal of the voice box), which was created by charity Shout at Cancer, the world's only charity specialised in speech training with music after a laryngectomy.

A concert will be performed at Reading Blue Coat School Theatre, Sonning Lane, where Mr Pett worked as a teacher for 30 years.

The psychological impact of losing the voice is significant, affecting a person's professional and social life.

Patients often fall prey to social isolation and depression, and a problem many encounter when they do go out are negative perceptions based on a lack of public education around the topic.

The charity hopes to deliver a message of hope to people who have undergone the surgery.

Laverne Williams, an international renowned opera singer, is working with the charity.

She said: "I feel honoured and deeply enriched by my work with these lovely persons.

"They have given me strength and an opportunity to address my humanity.

"Their courage has rubbed off on me, and I thank them for that!"

Mr Bradshaw said: "When I told my son I was going to be in a choir he told I couldn't sing even before the operation.

"But we are doing this together and we are enjoying it! "It gave us back our confidence."

Mr Pett said: "I spent many years at Reading Blue Coat School, in a stimulating environment where each day was different, usually great fun and often challenging.

"Despite being such a rewarding job, after nearly forty years I had retired with the intention of going part time.

"This plan was soon scuppered by my diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent laryngectomy.

"I still tutor and love doing it.

"I continue to play cricket and golf, I ski when possible and enjoy leisurely cycling - all still possible despite being a neck-breather.

"The choir, however, has given me a different platform for educating and informing people: we inspire other laryngectomee, we deliver a message of hope, and to the broader audience we explain the impact on lif following a laryngectomy operation in a positive and moving way.

"After all these years I will be back in my old school and I'm excited about it, as if it were the first day after the long holidays."

Both men were treated at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and as a thank you to the staff have invited them along to the concert.

Tickets for the concert, which will take place on April 28 at 2pm, are available on the website (