15 August 2016

Community Choir to continue thanks to Council’s contribution

A community choir that has been meeting on a trial basis at Grove House in St AlbansGrove House every Thursday evening has been given a grant from St Albans City & District Community Grants Fund. 

Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Community Choir will make a debut performance at the Chiltern Music Festival on Saturday August 27 at the Dashwood Arms in Piddington near High Wycombe and has plans to expand its membership base following the grant.

Rennie Grove Director of Nursing & Clinical Services, Sue Varvel, said: “We’re thrilled to have received this funding because local people, including our patients, are already benefitting from the project. There is a great sense of achievement when we all sing together and a unanimous sentiment that it’s an uplifting and invigorating experience.

“The grant means we can scale up the project to reach more members of the community.  The choir will help local people get involved in local life by providing a weekly opportunity to participate in a free, creative group activity with proven health benefits.  We’re proud too that it’s a unique offer in the local area.  Held in our day hospice building with the equipment, accessibility and professional nursing support required to support vulnerable people, this project gives patients the chance to attend too.” 

Led by a professional music therapist from Chiltern Music Therapy, the Community Choir at Grove House complements one of Rennie Grove’s key aims: to support patients to live their lives to the full.

“Our Patients have life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, motor neurone disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure,” explained Sue “Some are coping with constant pain management and complex symptoms including breathlessness, nausea and mobility issues as well as preparing emotionally and practically for the end of life. Many are undergoing what can be extremely traumatic treatment. Aside from the physical problems associated with having a life-threatening or life-limiting illness, our patients also have a range of emotional difficulties to confront. Feelings of shock, anger, sadness and helplessness can result in depression. Patients can feel isolated and anxious about the uncertainty of what’s to come, and even guilty about the feelings of those close to them.

“At Rennie Grove, we are determined that, despite their diagnosis, they should be empowered to achieve the best possible quality of life and have the opportunity to be included fully in community life. It’s our hope that they will receive the health benefits associated with music therapy and choirs – such as better breathing and breath control, a reduction in symptoms for those with neurological conditions and an improved sense of wellbeing and uplift in mood.”

Please call Joan Follett on 01727 731013 if you’d like to join the Community Choir at Grove House.