Sing Viva Carers Choirs
Funding Programme: Caring for Carers
In 2016 Sinfonia Viva used funding from the Bupa UK Foundation to create a warm, welcoming and supportive community choir for carers in Derbyshire. Named Sing Viva, the choir now has a core of around 30 regular members who have given sparkling performances on BBC Radio Derby, at an event in Manchester Cathedral and in front of a crowd of 15,000 people at an open concert at Darley Park in Derby.
Sinfonia Viva used a short version of the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Health Scale to support project evaluation. Although small scale, the results indicated a +9 improvement in measures relating to health and wellbeing, reflected in comments from choir members:
- On physical health: ‘I didn't realise how physical singing can be - literally warming you up - opening air ways - making better posture and feeling good.’
- On emotional health and wellbeing: ‘I suffer from an overstretched and very active stress system. Singing is a life line for me.’
- On self-confidence, taking timeout and companionship: ‘It has given me time to do something for myself and forget about my caring role for a short while - a breathing space. Helped me to feel more confident in myself and more positive. It has been good to share time with others who understand how I feel and who are going through similar experiences and dealing with similar problems.'
In 2018 the Bupa UK Foundation awarded Sinfonia Viva further funding to train a wider network of musicians and choir leaders to work with carers and also to pilot a choir to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities and their carers.