A local charity is walking Jersey’s west coast to raise money for their musical programmes which aim to bring "joy and wellbeing" to vulnerable and elderly islanders.
On 21 May, charity Aureole Music is inviting islanders to join a fundraising walk from L’Etacq to Corbière to raise money for essential new materials for their 'Monday Melodies' care home programme and Parkinson's Choir – the 'Sparky Parkys'.
The choir, which was formed during lockdown, also doubles as a voice therapy group and is supported by the Community Foundation (with funds from the Channel Islands Lottery) and run in collaboration with Parkinson's UK.
The sessions, led by Nicki Kennedy, include singing and voice therapy exercises from a vocal rehabilitation coach and speech and language therapist.
Nicki said: "Our fun and vibrant Parkinson's choir is bringing joy, social opportunities, music and much, much more to its members.
"Parkinson's disease can weaken the voice and cause problems with communication. Singing with a specialist vocal expert and exercising the voice with a speech and language therapist have been proven to keep the voice strong and even improve other areas affected by the disease, such as gait and general coordination."
The charity also sends teams of volunteers to the island's care homes to lead 'sing-a-longs' for residents in its Monday Melodies programme.
Nicki said: “Our trained leads run dynamic sessions where we are stimulating a group of people living in a residential care home. The residents are hearing something different, joining in, and we are getting their cognitive juices flowing. It’s a great source of joy and wellbeing, not only for them but their carers too.”
Now, the charity is nearing the end of a successful pilot phase and is seeking funds to grow over the next three years.
Donations will go toward training and essential materials such as sheet music, percussion instruments, and equipment such as a projector and screen to take around with them and avoid printing costs.
"We are also trying to publish a new songbook, which contains all our favourite music," Nicki said.
The charity wishes to create "a far-reaching programme" that will provide "in as many care settings as [they] can possibly reach in Jersey".
Nicki said: "We thought we would have a lovely walk and collect money, plus maybe have a sing at the beginning – and at the end if we have any puff left!"
Aureole Music is a charity set up during the pandemic to brings joy and wellbeing to the elderly and vulnerable by leading community singing and music events in care homes in Jersey.
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