Residents, relatives and staff from three Woodbridge care homes have come together to rehearse for their first performance as the newly formed Combined Care Homes Choir which won funding from Comic Relief in July last year. The aim is to support people living in care homes to access arts, physical, creative or musical activities. Comic Relief 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 for the two year funding.
Grove Court and Highlands care homes in Woodbridge came together at Jubilee House care home, run by the Seckford Foundation, for their first choir rehearsal on 19 February. Over 30 residents and their family members, volunteers and staff all enjoyed a fun taster afternoon when, after a warm up session, they learnt two songs and rehearsed a four-part piece. The choir, led by experienced performer and choir director Megan Peel, will rehearse together every three weeks, ready for their first public performance later this year.
Sarah Kopferschmitt, Head of Seckford Care and project lead for the Woodbridge Combined Care Homes’ Choir, said: “There is great research supporting the benefits of group singing on people’s overall sense of wellbeing, on their mental, physical, social and cognitive health. We hope older people living in Woodbridge’s care homes will enjoy all of these benefits as well as a sense of community and new friendships through our combined choir.
“We also hope that the performances given by the choir will help change the general perception of care homes. They can be great places to live with lots of fun and fulfilling activities, and really positive integration between older people, their families and colleagues.”
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 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.