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Reducing isolation with the magic of music

Jean Doul and Doris Taylor – Blaise Weston residents (L-R)Mears Blaise Weston in partnership with Hanover Housing and the Blaise Weston resident’s social club recently hosted The Malcom X Elders Choir who treated the residents to an afternoon of singing which included 60s pop and gospel classics. Staff at Mears Blaise Weston helped organise the event with the objective of tackling the debilitating issues of isolation and loneliness, particularly amongst the older generation.Mears was invited by LinkAge to host the afternoon as part of an educational project to show the value and importance of music and dance. Research clearly shows that strong social networks, involvement in local communities together with taking part in creative activities such as singing can guard against the challenges of ageing. Being a part of the local community, learning new skills and making friends can help older people when they are facing difficult periods.The event was a huge hit and was filmed. LinkAge will be sharing the film with commissioners of older people services to illustrate the importance of funding creative groups aimed at supporting the older generation. The film will show the value of music and dance, how it supports older people and encourages the development of new friendships. A DVD of the afternoon will also be sent to schools and colleagues, young people will be able to experience and learn about the power of music as a health and wellbeing tool.Doris a singer and resident from Blaise Weston said: “The event was wonderful because I was able to meet old friends and join in with something I love and enjoy”. A singer from the Malcolm X Elders Choir said: “We enjoyed the whole day; the lunch was great; everyone was enthusiastic and we genuinely had a fantastic time. We certainly will be coming back in September.”


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