Brick by Brick Communities CIC is a new Community Interest Company based in Hertfordshire founded by Tola Dabiri and Andrea Hayes. Our aims are to combat poverty and social exclusion in all its forms in our communities. As a Black-led organisation we also celebrate and share Black British culture in our events programme.
We have recently completed a series of workshops that were designed to support and assist people with long covid and other respiratory conditions.
Sing on UK is owned and run by singer and vocal coach, Yolanda Greaves, and she tailored each session to meet the needs of the group who ranged in age and confidence levels plus the stages of their health condition.
Each session opened with an element of wellbeing where participants were invited and encouraged to talk briefly about their condition and how they were coping. We then had vocal exercises that helped to clear the lungs and improve respiratory capacity and ended with a sing along which ended each session on a high note!
And if your musical ability needs work .... don't worry, we will let you press your mute button!
These are not clinical sessions, but vocal exercises and so are suitable and beneficial to all.
Wellbeing workshops were lead by Martha Burling, a local Integrative Therapeutic Counsellor. Session themes included self-kindness, trauma, loneliness and support for mental health concerns and ran for ten weeks. The meetings provided support for people with long covid and other clinically vulnerable conditions.
Gentle Progressive Exercise classes were lead by Nicki Krajnovic. Each week the activity intensity increased a little and participants who were barely able to get to the top of the stairs at the beginning of the sessions were able to get about much more easily and even to dance! Nicki is experienced in supporting patients with COPD and other respiratory conditions and works with many patients across Hertfordshire.
We ask that all participants take advice from their doctor before participating. Every member does as much or as little as they feel comfortable with.
All sessions are held on zoom and are free to participants so you can take part in your pyjamas, your garden or even in bed if you want to.
Sessions are suitable for all age groups, singing ability, those with a disability or none.
We firmly believe in utilising community organisations and talents to support community needs.
The previous workshops were funded by Herts County Council and Herts Community Fund.
We are raising funds to run more sessions so that people with long covid in particular have the opportunity to access weekly sessions from home, reduce social isolation and help themselves back to better health.
The participants all reported improved wellbeing and lifted mood and most importantly stamina and the ability to take deeper breaths and manage their oxygen intake much better.
By the end of the sessions we aim to put the community choir singalong onto video for all to enjoy.
Sessions will be promoted to Hertfordshire residents, but as this is a digital project on Zoom, all are welcome.
Thank you immensely for the SingOn UK - Take a breath sessions, they have helped me to breathe better and for longer. Yolanda is easygoing making you feel at ease which helps. I was also very happy with how it was organised.
I've joined the SingOn UK choir as a result and I feel as if my confidence is growing.
Thank you both❤
It was amazing , the words don't let you illness/ disabilities define you" has been a real breakthrough for me.
On the physical side learning to breath has been super helpful.
I would love to be able to carry on, being with a positive caring teacher and others who have the same breathing traumas , however they come is so important.
It gave me confidence, dignity , zoom friendships and support.
The session was very beneficial for me, it helped me to concentrate on my breathing when I became shot of breath and overcome breathlessness. I also liked the inhalation devices shown, I found them very interesting and something I would definitely try. Thank you
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