At a time when Health Secretary Matt Hancock has recently unveiled his new Prevention is Better than Cure health strategy, Spirit of 2012 has awarded £39,949 to a new initiative providing music as therapy for those suffering from ill health in the northwest of England.
The positive impact of group singing on both physical and mental health – for young and old alike – is increasingly well evidenced. A good sing can be joyful and uplifting, both during and after taking part.
More Music will establish two new Singing for Health projects in Morecambe, Lancashire, designed to bring people together in safe, creative and fun environments. The Chameleon Choir will bring young people together and the Seagull Cafe is for older people. Medical practitioners will refer people to the projects with the aim of building their resilience, developing their social connections, and enhancing their mental wellbeing. They will also consider prescribing singing to help tackle long–term, life-limiting health conditions including respiratory illness and dementia.
“We’re excited to fund this new social prescribing initiative, allowing GPs in Morecambe to refer patients to a non-medical option for better health,” says Debbie Lye, Spirit of 2012 Chief Executive.
“We know that wellbeing and good health result from a complex range of factors including social networks and participation in fulfilling, and fun, activities. We believe our Singing for Health investment in More Music will offer these to people who currently don’t have those opportunities, so preventing more serious problems and reducing demand for local medical services.”
More Music will deliver two Singing for Health projects: the Chameleon Choir for young people referred through the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) network and Bay Medical Group; and the Seagull Café, for older adults referred through the Bay Medical Centre.
“We are thrilled to be awarded funding from Spirit of 2012 to develop a programme of singing that will focus on improving the mental health and wellbeing of participants,” says Kathryn MacDonald, Communities & Engagement Director, More Music. “We are looking forward to working in partnership with CAMHS and the Bay Medical Group to discover and share the benefits of music-making for the community.”
Spirit’s funding will also enable More Music to conduct research into their social prescribing model, generating learning which will inform future planning and practice for local services and the wider sector
“We look forward to seeing what the research will teach us about the impact and efficacy of the social prescribing model,” says Debbie Lye.
“As the Secretary of State said when he launched his Prevention is Better Than Cure vision in November last year, ‘Prevention is not only better than cure, it’s our best hope to create a happier, healthier, more independent future’.”
Click here for the More Music website.
Click here to read more about Singing for Health.