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Singing for Wellness

​Co​uld the Singing for Wellness scheme help you?
A singing scheme to improve the lives of people with severe breathing difficulties has been launched in Brixham.

The Singing for Wellness pilot is looking for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or similar conditions who want to expand their lungs and their social circle.

The aim is to improve the physical, emotional and social effects of COPD on people’s everyday life, and to introduce an enjoyable way of self-managing their lung condition. 

Each participant will receive 12 fully funded sessions, run on a weekly basis. No experience is necessary to join in.

The scheme is delivered in partnership with Torbay Culture Board, Torbay Arts and Culture Network, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Public Health Torbay and Torbay Community Development Trust.

Cat Radford, of Torbay Arts and Culture, said: “Researchers have proven that participating in regular singing sessions can improve quality of life. 

“The benefits of diaphragmatic breathing involved in singing are also supported by initial studies which suggest that regular singing lessons can preserve and help to improve the lung function of patients.

“However, I’d like to stress that participation in the Singing for Wellness choirs will not replace any standard NHS intervention for COPD that patients may also receive, such as inhaler treatment or a place on a Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme.”

Cat said that in addition to the physical benefits of being in a choir, there are many psychological benefits that will help patients who feel isolated as a result of their condition.

She added: “People say singing is uplifting and joyful. They feel positive during the singing session – and the positive mood continues afterwards. Singing can help if you feel depressed, stressed or anxious. 

“People living with long-term lung disease say group singing makes them think of themselves as choir members, rather than patients. Singing and being part of a group gives them confidence and a sense of achievement. It can motivate to try other new things.

“Regular group singing can make you feel less isolated and is a way of feeling part of a group. You can make new friends, and they will understand your challenges because they face them too. It’s also a chance to share experiences and help others. 

“Joining a singing group is a way of learning new skills and maybe reviving existing ones. Learning new songs can help to improve your ability to focus and concentrate and also to stimulate your memory.”

Anyone wanting to apply for the Singing for Wellness scheme can call Cat on 0845 5571286 or by email her at cattyradford@gmail.com.