Hospital’s wellbeing choir looking to attract singers

The choir runs every Tuesday until 23 July and singers can drop-in between noon and 1pm at the hospital's chapel.
The choir runs every Tuesday until 23 July and singers can drop-in between noon and 1pm at the hospital's chapel.

Scarborough Hospital has launched a project encouraging people to sing to improve their health and wellbeing.

In a three month pilot scheme, the new wellbeing choir is encouraging everyone – staff, patients, visitors or members of the public – to join in.

Studies show that singing in a choir has positive effects on physical health, which can improve life expectancy and quality of life.

After testing the project at York Hospital, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has introduced it to Scarborough.

Jessica Sharp, art and design project coordinator at the Trust, said: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to come and join us. There is a huge amount of evidence to show that singing improves our mood, with a decrease in stress, depression and anxiety.

“Singing increases the level of ‘happiness hormones’ endorphin, oxytocin and serotonin which also increase pain-tolerance thresholds, helping people suffering chronic pain or illnesses.

“These benefits are boosted in a group setting, compared to singing alone. The wellbeing choir will offer a relaxed session suitable for all abilities.

“We hope to provide opportunities for people to socialise, and most importantly, to feel good and have fun!”

The choir will be led by Nicola Betts, community musician, music teacher and singer. Her work includes leading community choirs and music sessions for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

The choir runs every Tuesday until Tuesday, July 23 and singers can drop-in between noon and 1pm to Scarborough Hospital Chapel.

Anyone interested in joining the choir should contact Jessica on 01904 725265 or email jessica.sharp@york.nhs.uk