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Houghton Regis Singing Café

The Houghton Regis Singing Café is a weekly singing group focussed on the wellbeing of older adults who are isolated and those who have a diagnosis of early-mid stages of dementia. Participants are referred into the group by Social Prescribing Link Workers.

Initially planned as an in-person group, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the group being delivered predominantly online for 1 year. Weekly sessions were delivered via Zoom by Laura Spencer our Music Therapist, supported by the Singing Cafe Team from the Community Link Project at Houghton Regis Baptist Church.

Social prescribers were also in regular attendance, assisting those who have been prescribed to attend the group.

Due to the Singing Café being held online, some group members were unable to access sessions. For these individuals, a weekly phone call was put in place, providing a half hour weekly music therapy session.

The Singing Cafe has transformed her life - Family Member

The aims of the Singing Café were to:

  • Reduce feelings of isolation and bring people together to socialise
  • Support communication and facilitate conversation
  • Encourage creative expression
  • Provide purpose, something to look forward to and improve quality of life
  • Improve mental health and wellbeing
  • Improve physical wellbeing
  • Support group members to reflect on the past, reminisce and consider the future
  • Encourage group members to ask for help if they need it

Some of the Results:

88% of participants stated it was 'very beneficial'

63% strongly agreed that it made lockdown more manageable

69% rated the singing cafe as 'excellent'

14 out of 17 respondents reported that attending the groups enables them to socialise with others and when asked to describe anything they enjoy about the Singing Café, 10 people responded by saying they felt less alone.

I am really surprised at how well she engaged, even initiating dancing when she wasn’t able to follow the words. When I left, she was so full of excitement, she said what a way to start the day, singing and dancing! - Social Prescriber

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