Life-changing singing group needs your vote

Musical Memories, which aims to reduce loneliness in rural North Yorkshire, is in line for Aviva’s Community Fund. Help to support them by voting here.

A singer from Musical Memories described the singing sessions as his “medicine” when he went for a check-up with his nurse. The gentleman has COPD among other health conditions, and while singing may seem like the last thing those with a debilitating lung condition would want to partake in, research from Canterbury Christ Church University Kent showed it has benefits.

‘I can’t play games, or cards or do a jigsaw anymore – I can’t remember the rules. But I can still sing’, said another participant, who has suffered a stroke in the past.

These two are among the groups of singers who regularly attend Musical Memories, a series of weekly singing sessions held across rural locations in the Ryedale area for the benefit of the older generation.

Facilitated by Ruth and Neil Hannah and a troupe of volunteers, the sessions are attended by singers aged between 60 and 96 years old, the majority of whom live alone, while a quarter of them care for their partner.

Providing a fun, safe and sociable environment, Musical Memories offers those who are bereaved, lonely or have health complaints an hour’s respite through singing.

Held in Pickering, Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside, Malton and Danby, the regular sessions are well attended, and Ruth hopes they will be able to continue with the help of Aviva’s Community Fund:

‘There is a lot of research that proves how good singing together is – physically, emotionally and mentally – and especially so for older people. It’s a totally uplifting experience. We really need this funding in order to be able to continue to provide these Happy Hour singing sessions for the older residents of rural North Yorkshire’.

Every year, Aviva offers funding to entrants, which may be community initiatives or charities, across a variety of categories, which have secured the most votes. These can be submitted by the organisation or project themselves, or by an insurance broker to increase their chances of success.

This year, McClarrons are getting behind Musical Memories which offers enjoyment and companionship to many in the Ryedale area, and we’d love it if you would too.

“The sprawling countryside which defines the county’s beauty does create isolation issues. We wanted to get behind Musical Memories because it brings people together people who may otherwise be suffering through loneliness or bereavement,” said Jonathan Copley, McClarrons’ head of Care & Social Welfare.

“That’s why we’re asking our clients, friends, family, everyone really, to get behind this fantastic cause which makes such a difference to people in the area.”

To cast your vote in favour of Musical Memories, visit their dedicated page on Aviva’s Community Fund website:

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