A musical project aimed at supporting female carers is going online so it can continue to help people during lockdown.
Launched in November 2019, MyMusic Northamptonshire offers female carers across the county the opportunity to get involved in a wide range of musical activities.
Funded by Spirit of 2012 and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the project is run in partnership with Northamptonshire Carers and Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust.
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Although anyone can become a carer at any time, 58 per cent of carers are female and 72 per cent of those in receipt of Carers Allowance are women.
MyMusic aims to bring female carers together to take a break, join a community, have fun and try something new.
Now, more than ever, it is important to find new ways to stay connected and feel part of a community.
Because of this, MyMusic is moving online to continue to bring music-making opportunities to female carers in their homes.
The negative impact of social isolation for carers is well known and the benefits of music activities on health and well-being are backed up by research.
Each week, a team of musicians from the NMPAT Musical Inclusion Team will release a variety of online music content for female carers of all ages to engage with.
This could be videos exploring different styles of music, live stream sessions with songs to learn at home, online ukulele tutorials, interactive song writing sessions or more relaxed sing-alongs.
The project will use a mixture of online platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, as well as conference call software such as Zoom.
Content will be shared from Monday, April 20, onwards and carers can access it in various ways.
The MyMusic Facebook page will be updated regularly with all the latest information about the project via https://www.facebook.com/MyMusicNorthamptonshire/
Female carers can also request to join the MyMusic Northamptonshire Online Facebook group connected to the page.
All links to YouTube videos, online sessions and song lyrics will be posted here, and the group will also provide space for carers to chat with others taking part in the project.
For those not on Facebook, there will be a MyMusic Northamptonshire mailing list with weekly updates about what’s going on and the links needed to access content.
To be added to this list, carers can email [email protected]
Project co-ordinator Jess Hollingshurst said: “Although we cannot meet in person at the moment, moving online is an exciting opportunity to bring female carers together and build community in a different way.
"While it is important to be physically distant during this time, we can be still be socially connected and music is a brilliant way to do that.
"I’m really hoping that this project gives carers something positive to look forward to each week while they continue to do such an amazing job.”
Later in 2020, MyMusic Northamptonshire hopes to continue its usual programme of groups, including Resound (for female carers of all ages), Reverberate (for young carers)
and Radiate (for those who care for a loved one with dementia).
For more information contact Jess Hollingshurst on 07496 453294 or email [email protected]
Alternatively, contact Northamptonshire Carers on 01933 677837 or email [email protected]