Community Innovations Grant Scheme (Pembrokeshire)
Initial feedback from the ‘Caring Choirs’ project describes cases where care home staff report that they heard people engaging and singing with the project, that they have never heard speak before.
Span Arts worked with Age Cymru and the Alzheimer’s Society to identify care settings to hold singing sessions in care settings in Pembrokeshire targeting older people including those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Local choir leaders Maya Waldman and Molara are now leading fortnightly singing sessions at the Lee Davies Day Care Centre in Narberth, Brooklands Nursing Home in Saundersfoot and Belvedere House in Tenby.
“It’s incredible to see how music unlocks people,” Maya Waldman says. “It creates a channel of communication for people with dementia, and it’s a pleasure to interact with people on that level – it’s wonderful to see their enjoyment.”
Maya and Molara are being joined by a small group of volunteers most of whom are members of local community choirs Sweet Harmony, One Voice, Singing Village, Cor Megaffon and Llangrannog Choir.
Volunteer Rosemary says, “I think it’s all going very well and people are enjoying it, having fun and becoming more open. Even the quieter people are engaging more!”
Singing has been proven to be good for you, with studies showing that it enhances memory, boosts the immune system and engenders a sense of community. There are also physical benefits to gain; the aerobic activity of singing and warm up exercises have been shown to improve lung function.