South Devon inclusive choir hits the right notes


The New Year has got off to a rousing musical start for staff and the people they support at the Regard Group’s services in South Devon with the launch of a brand new open-to-all choir.


Paige Marley, senior support worker at Victoria, a Plymouth-based residential service for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, is leading the group which has called itself ‘The R-Factor’ – R stands for Regard.


Paige was keen to give everyone joint ownership of the choir from the start, and was delighted to receive a great response to her request for song suggestions from people interested in attending.


Ten of the people who live at various local Regard services, plus 11 members of staff, attended the first session of the New Year and Paige reported that everyone who attended enjoyed themselves and left the session smiling from ear to ear.


Kay Morgan, who lives at Regard’s Victoria House service, said: ‘I’m having such a great time,” with a huge smile, while James Toll, who lives at Douglas House, said: ‘I really enjoyed the signing and ‘It’s raining men’ was my favourite song.”


Lucy Tempest, service manager at Harbour in Torquay, reported that the people she supports who attended the first choir meeting all came back in a great mood and said they couldn’t wait to go again.


Paige Marley said: “It really was a fantastic launch session. We truly raised the roof at the Hyde Park Social Club where we met, with rousing performances of Oasis’s ‘Wonderwall,’ ‘My heart will go on’ by Celine Deon, ‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen, and others.


“It was astonishing what my colleagues and the people we support managed to achieve in just one session, and we really looking forward to the next one.”


“I am encouraging people to be involved whether or not they think they have a good singing voice, as the whole project is about the positivity that singing brings. I honestly feel that singing with others is good for the soul – it inspires confidence and has such an amazing uplifting effect.”


The R-Factor has already had its first request to perform in public – Plymouth City Council’s quality and assurance team has invited them to sing at one of the Dignity in Care Forums in 2018.





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