Singing is Therapy for Cancer Survivors
One of worst problems facing cancer patients is isolation.
But, this is the Year of the Choirs; headed by the wonderful Military Wives Choir. They have proved that getting together to sing can help with depression and loneliness – and it’s FUN!
But that was just one Choir. Could a ‘choir movement’ do something to improve lives in different areas?
Wales is famous for its Choirs
So it is not surprising that the Welsh thought this a good idea. Tenovus, in partnership with the motivation and team building company Sing and Inspire, set up a choir for people affected by cancer, to determine if this could act as an alternative support group.
There was a hard-headed basis to all this; the object was to determine whether the choir actually improved the lives of choir members. Tenovus worked together with a team from the School of Healthcare Studies at Cardiff University to measure their health and wellbeing before, during and at the end of the choir’s initial 3 month pilot period.
Despite being carried out over a relatively short period of time, the pilot study showed that the choir brought about significant improvements in those reporting various conditions prior to taking part:
- in social function
- mental health
- a reduction in perceived pain
- reduced depression and anxiety in those that reported suffering from these conditions prior to taking part in the choir.
So is it worth it?
Tenovus say statistical results and personal testimonies collected from members of the choir showed that a choir can be an excellent support group.
Angela Davies joined the choir after being diagnosed with inoperable ovarian cancer; “I go to choir every week with my husband Glyn and son Josh. It has made an enormous difference to my life and is a huge support. It has given me the confidence to get out of the house, meet a new family and given me a new purpose. I no longer feel I am battling the disease alone.”
Today the choir continues to perform under the name of the Tenovus Sing For Life Choir.
What for the Future?
Since it started in 2010 in Pontypridd, things have gone from strength to strength. The success of this choir led to Tenovus receiving a £1 million grant to set up fifteen further choirs across Wales. The first choir opened in Cardiff on the 7 March and the next will open in Cwmbran.
So if you want to join, they plan to roll out a further 15 choirs across Wales.
Cardiff (already running)
Swansea – starting April
Cwmbran – May
Carmarthen – October
Merthyr – Jan 2013
Bridgend – Jan 2013
Monmouth – Jan 2013
Cardigan – Sept. 2013
Brecon – Sep 2013
Aberystwyth – Sep 2013
Builth – Apr 2014
Lampeter – Apr 2014
Bangor – Sep 2014
Wrexham – Sep 2014
Newtown – Sep 2014