Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones and the Vale of Glamorgan AM Jane Hutt visited ‘With Music in Mind’ in Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan.
‘With Music in Mind’ is a Community Interest Company based in South Wales which runs singing groups for people over 50. The group is open to anyone over 50 looking to access a supportive, fun and integrative group and singing ability is not a prerequisite. The group is particularly beneficial to those at risk of social isolation, loneliness, or worsening physical or mental health.
Group singing has been shown to have a wealth of benefits including reducing stress, increasing confidence and improving wellbeing. With increasing levels of social isolation and loneliness founders Dr Sarah Miles and Kate Whitestone wanted to provide a service that helped to reduce these risks early.
The group in Cowbridge was set up in September 2015 and both AMs have constituents who are regular members. Many group members enjoy the routine of attending the group on a weekly basis and really look forward to it. Others say that being part of the group is simply a joy and that people can forget about their troubles and go home with the feeling of wellbeing still with them. As well as an hour of singing, there are also refreshments and a further hour of social activities chosen by the group members.
Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones said, “It was great to visit ‘With Music in Mind’ to see the brilliant work that they do and to see the positive impact that they have on the individuals who are part of the group. As one group member said to me ‘there is no better way to encompass one’s feelings than with music.’ The group sang a number of songs from a Beatles number to songs from the Musicals such as Les Misérables and My Fair Lady. I really enjoyed listening to them.
“Through this group, people can come together in a relaxed and informal environment and take part in a range of singing and other activities whilst forging new bonds. In short, people can sing, socialise and have fun whilst re-gaining their confidence and improving their well-being”.
Jane Hutt AM said, “It was wonderful to meet organisers and members of ‘With Music in Mind’-a fantastic and supportive community group showcasing the uplifting and important role of music in our lives”.