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Find Your Voice Singing Group Wiltshire

by Wiltshire Service Users' Network in Devizes, England, United Kingdom

Find Your Voice Singing Group Wiltshire
We did it
On 27th November 2018 we successfully raised £430 with 17 supporters in 35 days

A fun and lively singing and social group for people with Neurological conditions and their carers in Wiltshire.

by Wiltshire Service Users' Network in Devizes, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We want to be able to continue the group and invite more people to join us. We would love to introduce another session in another part of the County.

The Find Your Voice singing group meets every Monday and is a fun and lively singing and social group for people with neurological conditions and their carers.

The project began in June 2018 in response to request by members of the community for a singing group in Wiltshire (people had heard of the benefits from other groups in other regions). This project includes people who have a range of conditions including Parkinsons, Huntington’s, Motor Neurone diseases, Multiple Sclerosis and stroke. The health and wellbeing benefits of singing together as a group have been increasingly documented over the past few years.

We have found that group singing helps support our members (and their carers) who are facing a range of challenges arising from living with a neurological condition (NC).  It has a wide range of benefits for those taking part (including our volunteers).

-Improved wellbeing: Being active in our singing group vocally and physically; having musical goals; feeling valued as a member of the group; being with mutually supportive people who have an understanding of the challenges faced; and engaging in creative activities are known to stimulate positive hormones that can all help to counter some of the challenges arising from living with a NC.  

-Group singing can also enhance the relationship between the person and their carers as by meeting regularly with the same group of people at the same venue and time of the week it creates an important anchor in their lives and can stimulate discussion and a sense of wellbeing way beyond the end of the session.

-Communication: Singing helps people with NC communicate in a number of ways. Through the physical act of singing, through the opportunity for people to express/explore/reflect on their emotions and through prompting communication.  The sessions include exercises that make everyone laugh but which also have real benefits for increasing movement of muscles in the face and particularly the tongue, which can help with not only speech but eating and swallowing.

-Skills and feeling valued: Some of our group members with NC  have  faced a loss of skills as their condition progresses.  Attending our singing group can provide our members with opportunities to use retained skills and to develop new skills. Sessions provide opportunities for people to help out in practical ways and also give social and emotional support to others in the group.

The group is supported by a trained singing leader.  We want to be able to encourage more people to join us.  We are a small not for profit organisation led by service users and the money will enable us to continue to provide the weekly group sessions (and perhaps even expand them to other parts of Wiltshire).  It will also allow us to publicise the project more widely, making sure that more people with a neurological condition can enjoy the benefits of being part of this very special group.

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