A group of four care homes in Woodbridge, Suffolk, has been successful in winning funding from Comic Relief to set up a new choir for residents, relatives and staff members.
Comic Relief launched the second round of funding to support people living in care homes in July with the aim of promoting access to arts, physical, creative or musical activities. It received nearly 100 applications and The Seckford Foundation’s application for the Woodbridge Combined Care Homes Choir was one of the eleven projects to be approved.
Residents living at Jubilee House, which is run by The Seckford Foundation, will join up with Woodbridge Lodge, Grove Court and Highlands care homes in Woodbridge to form the new choir which will be led by experienced performer and choir director Megan Peel from Suffolk. Megan is co-founder of the Rural Music Initiative, whose mission is to offer high quality tuition and performance opportunities in East Anglia’s rural communities.
Sarah Kopferschmitt, as project lead for the Woodbridge Combined Care Homes’ Choir, said “We are delighted to be working in collaboration with other care homes and win the Comic Relief funding for the new choir. As many reports have demonstrated, there are evidence-based benefits of group singing on people’s overall sense of wellbeing, on their mental, physical, social and cognitive health.
“The choir will benefit the participants through the mental stimulation and enjoyment of singing, as well as a sense of community. The residents will have the chance to go out, meet with others, participate in a group production, continue their learning and most importantly, gain a sense of achievement, to laugh and have fun.
“We also hope that the performances given by the choir will help change the general perception of care homes which are of course great places in which to live, with really positive integration between the older people, their families and staff and where life can be good and fun, even after ‘moving in’.”
Family members who join in will benefit from the opportunity to have a shared interest with their relative, a sense of community and opportunities to meet others who may be experiencing situations similar to their own. The project also offers staff a chance to interact with residents for something that is not linked to the delivery of services, enriching the relationship between them.
The Comic Relief funding has been granted for a two-year period and the project will get underway in the New Year.