Care Home’s New Community Choir Brings People Together Through Song

A dedicated dementia care home in Bournemouth is hitting all the right notes with its new community choir.

Colten Care’s Fernhill in Longham near Ferndown, launched the choir on July 18 and the home’s residents and their carers welcomed a host of local people for the first session.

Fernhill Community Choir is being led by Colten Care’s Music and Arts partner Fiona Pritchard.

Fiona said: “Fernhill residents and staff have been singing together as a choir for over a year and were keen to extend the opportunity to the wider community.

“It’s been fabulous to welcome so many local people in to sing with us and I think we’ve all been pretty impressed both by how much fun it has been and how good we already sound together.”

Fiona continued: “Thanks to the recent success of the BBC documentary Our Dementia Choir there is an increased awareness of the benefit of singing.

“Singing can facilitate reminiscence and also help people to socialise and build relationships. But most importantly we want to show the joy and fun people can experience when singing with others.”

Around 20 people from the local community attended the first choir meeting, including Hilary and Brian Smithurst from Northbourne.

Brian said: “It’s been lovely. We’ve sung Scarborough Fair and also some Beatles songs and it’s been really enjoyable to meet the residents and their carers and just get together and sing.”

Lynne Rees is Head of Pastoral Care at St Mary’s Church in Longham.

She said: “It’s been great, excellent.

“I’m here to engage with new people. I will definitely be back.”

University student Amelia Caley was accompanied by her grandmother Diane Hughes.

Amelia said: “I have been looking for something to share with my grandma. She taught me many old songs when I was growing up and we have both really enjoyed singing together today.

Fernhill Community Choir will meet at 2.30pm on the third Thursday of every month at Fernhill,122 Ringwood Road, Longham, Ferndown, Dorset BH22 9AW.

The choir will sing music from the 1930s to the present day, with a backdrop of recorded music or live guitar and piano. The sessions are free and the words to all songs and refreshments will be provided.

 

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