All together now! Care homes form choir to promote benefits of singing

The Woodbridge Combined Care Homes Choir during its first choir performance at The Octagon Hall, Woo

The Woodbridge Combined Care Homes Choir during its first choir performance at The Octagon Hall, Woodbridge Picture: LUKE TRICKER/SECKFORD FOUNDATION - Credit: Luke Tricker

Residents at three care homes have been in fine voice after joining together to put on a singing showcase.

The Combined Care Homes Choir has brought together three homes in Woodbridge to help promote the benefits of group singing.

Jubilee House, Grove Court and the Highlands Residential care homes are all taking part in the project.

Over 30 residents, their families, volunteers and staff have been involved in the project to bring the groups together for their first performance.

The project began back in January with rehearsals starting in February under the co--ordination of experienced performer and choir director Megan Peel.

Money for the project came from a grant approved by Comic Relief last year.

In July 2017 the charity launched a round of funding to help those living in care homes.

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In particular the funding applications were to be aimed at projects which helped older people to access the arts and physical, creative or musical activities.

The Combined Care Homes Choir found out in December that it would be only one of 11 projects to be approved for the two-year funding out of the nearly 100 applications received.

The choir gave their first public performance this month in front of an audience of 40 people at The Octagon Hall on St John’s Street in Woodbridge.

The choir itself is thought to help residents by mentally stimulating them but also giving them a sense of community when they join with the other homes.

Sarah Kopferschmitt, head of Seckford Care and project lead for the Combined Care Homes Choir, said: “There is great research supporting the benefits of group singing on people’s overall sense of wellbeing, and on their mental, physical, social and cognitive health.

“It’s great to see older people living in Woodbridge’s care homes coming together to enjoy all of these benefits, alongside a real sense of community and creating new friendships.

“The first choir performance was a great opportunity to challenge the often negative perception of care homes.

“They can be great places to live with lots of fun and fulfilling activities, promoting really positive integration between older people, their families and colleagues.”

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