The voluntary arts group was set up in 2012 to promote and develop appreciation of the arts, in all its forms, among Selsey and district communities. They recently ran a project called “Sing your Heart Out”, a daytime singing group for people with a variety of physical and mental health problems, mostly 60 years and over.
Sing your Heart Out!
The project offered a friendly and supportive environment for a ‘gentle’ yet engaging activity for people to meet and sing together, make friends and relax through the medium of music making. In addition to facilitate the development of musical knowledge and skills, “Sing Your Heart Out” provided exercise and stimulated mental facility, helping to reduce depression and anxiety through participation within the community.
Improving mental health and wellbeing
The feedback received by the group showed that the beneficiaries’ lives were improved through the experience of singing and making music together. For the volunteers working with the project, it was fantastic to see how a group of individuals who did not know each other at the start, grew to trust, laugh, cry and perform together. By the end of the project, which lasted just over 12 months, the group had moved on to singing songs in three- and four-part harmony, holding their own tune, and sitting in groups according to their voices.
“The music sessions restored my confidence and self-esteem, and also helped with my asthma and general health. They have brought the other folks and I to bond – it was wonderful for the community.”