Whitebeck Court Singing Group

Whitebeck Court Singing Group

Group created to help improve mental wellbeing, lower stress levels, boost mood and provide an opportunity to socialise

Benefit of singing and music

Singing has been shown to offer social, personal and mood benefits for adults, and a lot of evidence highlights the benefits specifically for older people. For people with dementia, singing activities can reduce symptoms of depression and behavioural issues. Singing in a group encourages social bonding, group identity and inclusion across cultural groups. Music also improves mental wellbeing and has been associated with reduced anxiety in young adults and reduced risk of depression in older people. It can support bonding between mothers and infants and plays a part in language development. Music and singing may also improve quality of life and coping for people living with health conditions.

Location

Whitebeck Court

Moorway Drive,

Blackley,

Manchester, M9 7HR

Project team

Martin Purdy (Community singing tutor)

Whitebeck Court Residents

Whitebeck Court Management/ Northwards

Aim

The aim of the project was to bring residents together to join in on a fun singing group with Martin Purdy who is a qualified singing teacher.

Speaking to residents it became clear that there was a lack of social activities for them to do and they were all spending the majority of their time sat alone in their flat.

Previously they had taken part in a one-off singing event and said they would love to do this again on a regular basis. Thanks to the Manchester Wellbeing fund buzz have been introduced to Martin Purdy who is a singing teacher that works with communities in Manchester. He loved the idea of working with the residents of Whitebeck Court and put together 12 singing session.

Testimonies

"When approached by Lauren at Buzz about setting up a singing group at Whitebeck Court I was sceptical; it can be difficult to engage older people closeted in tower blocks. Nevertheless, Lauren’s enthusiasm won me over and the effort she put in as a liaison with the managers of this sheltered community was excellent. The result? A thriving group that, prior to lockdown, and in just a handful of sessions, had attracted a committed gathering of a dozen singers who were providing a strong foundation for future growth of the group. Many of these singers (male and female) said the sessions were one of the highlights of their week and that they were already feeling the health benefits in terms of social interaction, mental well-being and physical improvements such as better breathing. I really look forward to the day we can get together, sing together and smile together again."

Martin Purdy (Well-being Arts Tutor and Singing Coach)

Evaluation

The project has only had three sessions so far, as unfortunately due to the pandemic this had to stop for safety. However, there was a very positive response to the session so far and we will continue to carry on with the group when it is safe to do so.

Strategic links to local/national policies

Benefit

Policy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Social and wellbeing benefits for older people

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Increased social cohesion

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Good start in life for children

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Encourages social connection and inclusion

Manchester Population Health Plan

Helps with coping for people with health conditions

The Manchester Prevention Programme

Research/evidence base

WHO Regional Office for Europe (2019) What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review

Van der Stein et al (2018) Music‐based therapeutic interventions for people with dementia, Cochrane Systematic Review

Daykin et al (2017) What works for wellbeing? A systematic review of wellbeing outcomes for music and singing in adults. Perspectives in Public Health, 138 (1), pp. 39-46

What Works for Wellbeing (2016) Review of the Grey Literature: Music, Singing and Wellbeing

A Choir In Every Care Home (2016) A Review Of Research On The Value Of Singing For Older People

Contact

Lauren Evans - Neighbourhood Health Worker

Lauren.Evans@gmmh.nhs.uk

T: 0161 271 0565


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