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Singing sparks joy for older people in Berkshire
Berkshire Maestros is now expanding to include working with older people and Parkinson’s and Dementia patients to improve their wellbeing. Supported by Cultural Recovery Funding, teachers from Berkshire Maestros have been visiting care homes and community centres across Berkshire delivering Singing Cafes where participants get to sing familiar songs as well as socialise with other like-minded people.
The project has made a wonderful and positive impact with Age UK Dementia and Parkinson’s patients saying ‘Thanks so much for making last week’s singing event so much fun – it’s amazing to see the change in him after the sessions’ and ‘Thank you so much for organising these singing sessions – it is so nice to have a sing along and talk with others afterwards who are in the same boat as us. Well done’
Following the huge success of the pilot scheme that ran from September to December last year, Berkshire Maestros are continuing the project this year with sessions running weekly in a variety of settings. Sessions will be completely free of charge for all who attend in February and then only a small weekly contribution thereafter.
Dawn Wren, CEO of Berkshire Maestros, said: “We are thrilled that these sessions have been so popular and grateful to our supporters for their generosity in bringing them to life. We know how powerful music making is for your mental health and we just want to share that message with as many people as possible!!”
Each session includes 45 minutes of musical activity followed by 45 minutes to have tea/coffee with a biscuit and a chat. This is to encourage people to meet new friends and support older people especially those with Parkinson’s and Dementia to reengage socially after being isolated during the COVID pandemic.
Bracknell & District Parkinson’s Branch, said “We are very grateful that Berkshire Maestros have set up the Bracknell Singing Café for our members and their partners to attend. Many members have not been able to meet with their friends and colleagues during Lockdown and these sessions provide a much needed opportunity to do so as well as facilitating the opportunity to have a good singalong with its associated benefits for both the member and their partner. We look forward to the continuation of these sessions which provide so much enjoyment for our members.”
This is a county wide project covering East to West Berkshire in various locations across the community – come and join them!
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