Corby and Wellingborough to host new music groups for older caring songbirds with six-figure investment
A medley of music groups across the county will allow women carers to have their voices heard and improve their wellbeing.
Northamptonshire Carers, a charity which supports unpaid carers of all ages, has been awarded nearly £240,000 funded by the Spirit of 2012 via the Tampon Tax awarded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport .
The funding will pay for four 12-week music projects in Corby, Wellingborough, Daventry and Northampton to serve the county's female carers.
Launching on November 25, the 'Resonate' music group offers female carers over 50 the chance to come together and share stories through music and song, in a 'friendly and inclusive environment'.
Jess Hollingshurst, carers music coordinator for Northamptonshire Carers, will be working in partnership with Northamptonshire Music & Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT) to deliver the musical programme.
She said: "Anyone can become a carer at anytime and from any walk of life. Making music is uplifting and creating something together and give a sense of achievement.
"It helps people struggling with mental health and a chance to switch off and work towards a shared goal which is uplifting."
Jess would like all women who act as unpaid carers to come along to the sessions.
The new sessions will build on the Northamptonshire Carers' Choir which, supported by NMPAT, continues to bring both male and female carers together on a weekly basis to develop a skill whilst socialising with others with similar experiences.
No prior musical experience is needed and alternative care and transport arrangements are available through the funding.
She said: "Part of the funding is access fund money set aside for arranging transport for carers to attend and we're hoping to provide a volunteer sitting service where befrienders can provide care, or via care agencies, for their loved one."
NMPAT musical inclusion members and multi-instrumentalists, Richard Leigh, Greg Coulson and Jon Kendall, will run the weekly Resonate group sessions.
Group members will be able to decide whether they will be a choir, use instruments or compose their own songs.
Gwyn Roberts, deputy CEO of Northamptonshire Carers, said: "We are thrilled by this opportunity as we have seen huge benefits of our existing music activities for carers.
"Our carers choir and ukulele groups bring often isolated people together and our annual ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert showcases their passion and talent.
"Being able to offer more music opportunities will allow us to support many more carers of all ages with a focus on self-expression, creativity and fun.
"We are hugely grateful to Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Spirit of 2012 and are looking forwards to working closely with NMPAT.”
The four groups to be run in 12-week blocks will start with Resonate - for women over 50 in a caring role is from November 2019 to February 2020.
From March to May 2020 'Resound', an inter-generational group for mums, daughters and granddaughters will take place.
Young Carers between the ages of seven to 17 can join 'Reverberate' from March from June to August 2020 and finally 'Radiate', for women who care for a loved one with dementia will be able to get together from September 2020 to November 2020.
The new Resonate group in Corby starts on Tuesday, November 26 and on Tuesdays from 10.30am to 1pm at Priors Hall Park Community Centre NN17 5EB, with lunch provided.
On Wednesdays the Wellingborough Group will meet from 9.30am to 11.30am at the Swanspool Pavilion NN8 9SR.
At the Daventry Band Hall NN11 0PN on Mondays the Daventry Group will meet from 1.30pm to 3.30pm and the Northampton Group will meet on Tuesdays from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at Broadmead Baptist Church NN3 2QY
For more information or to be kept updated, contact Jess Hollingshurst on 07496 453294 or email [email protected]
Alternatively, contact Northamptonshire Carers on 01933 677837 or email [email protected]
Details of the groups can also be found online by clicking here.