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Norwich singing group for people living with dementia is boosted by Sport Relief

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 January 2016

Come Singing, at The Costessey Centre, who got £400 from Comic Relief last year to buy song books, hand bells and a keyboard for members.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Come Singing, at The Costessey Centre, who got £400 from Comic Relief last year to buy song books, hand bells and a keyboard for members. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

ARCHANT NORFOLK

They are united by a love for music.

Come Singing, at The Costessey Centre, who got £400 from Comic Relief last year to buy song books, hand bells and a keyboard for members.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYCome Singing, at The Costessey Centre, who got £400 from Comic Relief last year to buy song books, hand bells and a keyboard for members. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Many friendships have been formed at the Come Singing group, and participants have performed in flash mobs across Norwich.

And members of the singing group, for people living with dementia, look forward to their meetings.

Come Singing was formed around four years ago and meets around two dozen times per month in different venues - from the Millennium Library to the Costessey Centre, care homes to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

It has around 150 members in total, aged from in their 50s to their 90s.

Come Singing, at The Costessey Centre, who got £400 from Comic Relief last year to buy song books, hand bells and a keyboard for members.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYCome Singing, at The Costessey Centre, who got £400 from Comic Relief last year to buy song books, hand bells and a keyboard for members. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Heather Edwards, one of the organisers, said: “Singing is one thing people living with dementia can do just as well as anyone else.

“The bits of your brain that process music don’t get affected by dementia, so you’re still firing on all cyclinders.

“We’re trying to give people a really rich experience of music.”

The group benefited from a £400 Community Cash grant last year, which helped them buy 120 modern song books and a keyboard.

It is one of several community groups in the Norwich area to have benefited, and fresh applications are invited in the run-up to this year’s Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games.

Norfolk Community Foundation works with Comic Relief and Sport Relief in alternate years to get the cash to the groups that need it most.

Many people attend meetings of Come Singing with their family members.

John Cook, 75, takes his wife Maureen, 73, to the group.

Maureen was diagnosed with dementia in 2007.

The couple live in New Costessey, and they are former landlords of The Gordon pub in Thorpe St Andrew

“To me and a lot of people who attend the groups, the social side of it is amazing and the singing is like being entertained by the radio or going to a show,” said Mr Cook. “My wife in this last year has found it difficult, but she enjoys being made to feel part of a group.

“We all get satisfaction from going - I sometimes think we should go on the X Factor.

“It’s my life. I can honestly say that I look forward to these meetings.”

The group even met on Christmas Day, going the extra mile to brighten the lives of its members.

To join the group, see www.comesinging.org.uk or call Heather on 01603 452404.

The group welcomes volunteers to help to run it.

A £37,500 fund to support vital community groups in and around Norwich is open for applications.

Grants of £500 to £1,000 are available to small grassroots community organisations in the Norwich area that are doing great work to help local people living tough lives.

Norwich Community Foundation works with Comic Relief and Sport Relief in alternate years to get the cash to the groups that need it

most. This year the partnership is with Sport Relief.

One group which benefited from a Community Cash grant last year was First Steps baby and toddler group, which meets at Magdalen Gates Primary School, in Bull Close Road, Norwich.

Nicky Hudson, organiser and co-founder, said the scheme was “brilliant”.

Applications to apply for Sport Relief Community Cash grants close on Thursday, February 25.

Interested groups can apply at www.norfolkfoundation.com

For further details, see www.sportrelief.com

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