A new Dementia Choir is being launched at Haviland House Day Services in Goring on Sea. Social care charity, Guild Care, is inviting people with dementia and those caring for them to drop into the dedicated day centre in Robin Road to enjoy an informal and fun afternoon of singing. The first choir session will take place on Saturday 20th April between 1.30pm and 3.30pm and will be led by Rik Grey.

Sarah Johnson, Team Leader at Guild Care Dementia Day Services, said, “The importance of music and singing on the mood and wellbeing of people with dementia is well documented, so this just seemed like a great opportunity to get people together for an uplifting singing session.

“Our choir will be slightly different in that we’d love people who are caring for family living with dementia to join the choir as well. We’re looking forward to an inclusive and enjoyable afternoon filled with song. What’s more, it will be completely free to come along and join in.”

Choir leader Rik Grey is well known to the team at Guild Care. He runs a music therapy group, ‘Singalong and Smile’ and belongs to several choirs himself. Rik also volunteers to drive the minibus at Guild Care which can be booked separately to collect people joining their activities and take them home afterwards. 

Sarah added, “For our first event in April, Rik has chosen a whole range of songs from old pub favourites to modern classics everyone will know and love. Over time, the songs will be chosen to reflect the people in the choir so you’re welcome to suggest your favourite songs. Words will be on songsheets and projected onto the big screen to make it as easy as possible for everyone to take part. I’ve wanted to set this up for so long, so this is an exciting new start. I feel it’s what’s missing in this area so I hope it will help people build new connections and friendships, and to support each other in a very friendly and informal space free from judgment or stigma.”
Heather Mannings of Guild Care will be on hand to welcome guests and their caregivers to the choir session from 1.30pm. There will be a short break for tea and biscuits before the singing continues until 3.30pm. 

Haviland House Day Services Dementia Choir will place every month, starting on Saturday 20th April. For more information, contact Sarah and Heather on [email protected]

Details of Guild Care’s range of day services for people living with dementia are available here.

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