The groups have been organised by the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University, in conjunction with Kent County Council’s Wellbeing campaign. They are free to attend and open to all. Participants will sing and enjoy well-known songs with the help of skilled group leaders, with the aim to provide opportunities for social interaction, reduce stress and increase self-confidence, fun and enjoyment. Professor Stephen Clift, Director of the Sidney De Haan Research Centre, explained: “Our research has shown that regular group singing can be beneficial for overall general wellbeing, as well having a positive impact upon specific health and mental conditions. “The singing groups we have set-up in West Kent and Medway replicate a set of groups that were set-up in East Kent in 2011 to assess the impact the activity had upon mental wellbeing. We found that participants reaped the benefits of social interaction and peer support offered through the groups, which helped to clinically improve their mental health conditions. Some of the benefits experienced by the participants included, an increase in self-worth and self-confidence, a reduction in stress, an improvement in memory and concentration and a sense of inclusion. “The singing groups in East Kent were successful in helping to improve the mental health wellbeing of the participants and proved to be a cost-effective health strategy. We hope to see the same positive benefits for the members of West Kent and Medway singing groups.” The groups run weekly across four venues in West Kent and Medway:
- Chatham – Thursday, 11.00am-12.30pm, All Saints Community Centre, Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, ME4 5NE
- Dartford – Wednesday,1.00-2.30pm, Meadowside Day Centre, Meadowside, Dartford, DA1 2RZ
- Maidstone – Tuesday, 4.30-6.00pm, Maidstone Community Support Centre, 39-48 Marsham Street, Maidstone, ME14 1HH
- Sevenoaks – Friday, 12.00-1.30pm, Vine Baptist Church, Park Lane, Sevenoaks, TN13 3UP
For more details please contact Sharon Manship on 01634 894472 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.