Music for wellbeing workshops in Selsey

If you have seen the BBC series about Vicky McClure and the dementia choir on television, you will know how valuable music is to people living with dementia. In Selsey, Chichester, we are fortunate to have a range of choirs creating something different for everyone. The power of music can influence hugely on a person’s mental health, wellbeing and feeling of self.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

It can also enable another means of communication when words can’t express a feeling or a thought. It is truly magical to watch the transformation of a person who may have an acquired brain injury caused by something like aphasia, dementia, or a stroke. Due to the neural stimulation a person who may be quite anxious with their condition and struggle to communicate, will come alive, remembering the tune perfectly and sometimes the words. They can sing or share their joy with the beat of a drum.

We have been blessed to have music practitioner Belinda Gannon facilitate these sessions bringing her skill and passion to every session, leading us to be involved in public performances too. This has included performing a piece with other choirs: "Shifting Shingle" composed by International Composer Howard Moody with other choirs during the late HM Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations last year. They have also performed more recentally with Belinda's other choirs- Sing Your Heart Out, and the Open Door Choir.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Selsey Community Forum has been able to develop The Friday Club. It is an inclusive music workshop for people with a range of health conditions and been running since the beginning of 2022, thanks to funding from West Sussex County Council and NHS Dementia Strategy. Whilst originally, it was focussed on people with dementia and their carers, since the end of that funding, we are now running it to enable us to welcome people with other conditions.

Communicating with musicCommunicating with music
Communicating with music

We have also found that not only the person with the health condition attending the session benefits from the safe space the workshops offer, supported by attentive staff and volunteers, so do the carers. This provides ongoing opportunities to gain peer support and friendship in a safe and welcoming environment.

Typically funding new projects for a voluntary and community organisation is relatively easy. However, ongoing grant funding applications and sponsorship is needed to sustain the activities for longer periods of time. If you are a local business, or organisation keen to sponsor a block of these workshops as part of your social value policy, then we would love to hear from you.

If you are a person living with Parkinsons, MS, Dementia, Stroke, or Aphasia, or a caring for a person who may like to join us, then please contact me directly. Sessions are £5/person and booking is essential. Sessions begin again from Friday 22nd of September 2023. 2.00-3.30pm (First half hour is relaxed to meet and welcome, so handy for you if things are not going to plan).

Please If you would like to book to join us or to sponsor the sessions, then please contact Karen Pirks via 01243 201616 or email her at [email protected]