At the start of February 2020, the successful Havering 'Singing for the Brain' groups became independent when the Alzheimer's Society no longer had the funds to continue them. These groups have been a social lifeline for hundreds of people since they began in 2012. The volunteers, carers, ex-carers and music leaders now collaborate to run the sessions, relying on donations to pay for the venues, refreshments and musicians.
The sessions are lively and there is always a party atmosphere. Our resident compere/singer will relate important information, invite anyone to do a solo song and host a music quiz. A professional singer will then provide an hour of song and everyone is invited to take to the dance floor, join in with singing and percussion, or just sit back and listen with a cup of tea and cake or biscuits. As one long-standing participant says "It's like being in the pub!"
Over the years the groups have become like a big extended family, and many other outings and social events are coordinated and advertised at the sessions. Expertise is shared, and good word of mouth recommendations can be found from people who have been through the dementia-care journey from start to finish. This is what a dementia-friendly community is really about.
The lock down has had a devastating effect on people with dementia and their carers; the clubs are so beneficial to them. Details of our clubs are as follows:
EVERY MONDAY 2.00 - 4.00pm (except Bank Holidays)
Cranham Community Centre, 115A Marlborough Gardens, Upminster, RM14 1SR
EVERY WEDNESDAY 1.00 to 3.00pm
Tweed Way Hall, Tweed Way, Collier Row, Romford, RM1 4AZ
EVERY THURSDAY 2.00 - 4.00pm
St John's Church, South End Road, Rainham, RM13 7XT
£5 per person per session including refreshments. First session free for new members.
On first visit all attendees must show proof of having had both Covid jabs and a booster, or evidence of medical exemption. The little blue card will suffice.
Please contact one of the individuals named on our website before attending the first time.