The people living in Pendine Park’s Penybryn home in Wrexham were in full voice as they enjoyed a SingFit session to aid their physical, emotional and mental health.
It was led by enrichment and activities coordinator Elaine Lee who also organises regular drumming classes to keep them in fine fettle.
Favourite songs include the 70s hit by Dawn, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round that Old Oak Tree, with. Elaine providing everyone with a yellow ribbon to wave around while singing.
Other hot hits among the crowd include The Beatles foot-tapping number, I Saw Her Standing There, Cliff Richard’s evergreen smash Summer Holiday, and bringing things more up to date George Ezra’s chart topper, Shotgun.
Delighted resident George Ullman said the sessions were ‘fantastic’ and put everyone in a good mood, as he requested the Shakin’ Stevens hit Green Door.
Fellow resident Tony Ithell sometimes plays a kazoo to accompany the tunes while thrilled Lyndsey Wright clicks her fingers and enjoys shaking her body to the beat of the music. “I love it, it’s great fun,” she laughed out loud.
According to Pendine Park’s artist in residence, Sarah Edwards, music and art are some of the most therapeutic activities for residents.
“The sessions are called Sing Fit because they have such an uplifting vibe. They are so popular.
“All our residents love a good sing-along and with Elaine at the helm they can’t wait to join in. She knows all their favourites and has word sheets for them all with the lyrics printed out for them.”
Elaine agreed that music was a vital part of the regular activities programme.
“Music is such a communicator. Even those residents who struggle with forming a conversational sentence will join in the singing with no difficulty. It is like it taps into a different part of the brain and several of them recall the lyrics by heart.
“We have all missed these sessions so much, the staff as much as the residents. We love to hear them belt out a good tune and the beaming smiles on their faces as they join in is heart-warming.”
In summer the Sing Fit sessions are often held outdoors in good weather and the melodious voices of residents can be heard far and wide.
Resident Tracy Wilde has her own special preference of Mull of Kintyre by Wings which has an anthemic quality with all in the room waving their arms from side to side, smiling widely.
Helping Elaine play the accompanying records and run the sessions is enrichment coordinator Nikki Clarke, along with Beca Williams who joins the team at Pendine Park during her holidays from Cardiff University.
Residents love to see Elaine, Nikki and Beca dance to the tunes as they sing, tap their feet and throw a few moves.
Penybryn manager Tracey Cuthill added:
“It is one of the most positive forms of enjoyment and wellbeing therapy we have.
“These sessions have a real feel good factor and after all they have been through lately our residents deserve some life affirming communal music to enjoy again.
“Not only does it help them exercise their voices, but it also makes us all feel fitter emotionally too. These really are songs for life.”