Sing For Life program announced
- Bath Chronicle:
Elderly people will be able to sway and sing along to the songs of
their youth thanks to a charity being launched in Bath. Dubbed Golden
Oldies, the scheme aims to tackle the isolation of the older
generation and boost their health by involving them in regular singing
and movement sessions.
Thousands of pensioners aged 70 and above will be invited to tune in
to the hits of the 50s, 60s and 70s, including old favourites such as
In the Summertime and Hi Ho Silver Lining at their local community
centres. The charity is being run by a board of trustees which
includes jazz star Jamie Cullum's father, John, and is headed by
former Mayor of the city, Cllr Marian McNeir .
Taking the theme Sing for Life, Golden Oldies aims to act as a pilot
scheme for a charity aiming to improve the lives of millions of
elderly people across the UK in the next decade. Should it succeed,
organisers hope to develop plans for a 'Big Sing' event in the future
where Goldies from across the country join together to sing in one
huge community choir.
The project is being led by Grenville Jones, who conducts three
popular singing groups in and around the city, including the City of
Bath Male Choir and the Silver Ring Choir.
Inspiration for the Golden Oldies pilot arose out of the various
concerns highlighted in a documentary by award-winning BBC journalist
Tim Samuel, called The Zimmers. "This television series clearly showed
that there are many elderly folk who have very little in life to look
forward to and enjoy," Mr Jones said.
"The Goldies sessions will be more than just community singing - we
will bring a new interest into the lives of many people, a reason to
get up in the morning and smile."
Mr Jones said the charity, officially launched yesterday, was keen to
work with volunteers and businesses in Bath and North East Somerset to
bring the project to as many people as possible. The pilot launch has
already received a Â£25,000 grant from Tesco and Somer Community
Housing Trust was the first organisation to commit funding. Other
organisations that have helped include HSBC's Bath branch, The Medlock
Trust, Brian Roper and the Quartet Trust.
Somer has joined forces with Mr Jones to establish centres where the
Goldie sessions will take place. Somer's divisional director, Vicky
Hale-Monro, said: "We could immediately see the link between the aims
of the Goldies project and our own aim to help and support older
people to retain their independence and remain active in their
Trust chair Cllr McNeir said: "Grenville has a terrific reputation for
getting people of all ages to sing and enjoy the experience. "We want
to stage annual fund-raising concerts and develop the charity with
outings, Christmas parties and more. Christmas is such a lonely time
for so many elderly people; we intend to change that."
The singing sessions will involve movement with music where possible
in a bid to make a positive impact on the health of the Goldies. A
joint Harvard and Yale study showed that choral singing even helps
people to live longer because it promotes a healthy heart and an
enhanced mental state.
Call Golden Oldies on 01761 470006 or visit the website
www.golden-oldies.org.uk for more details. Regular classes start in