TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR GROUP ATTENDEES

CAROL - Carer/Volunteer 
Having attended groups for many years with my husband Ken,  it  became like a second family to us. 

Ken loved the groups and used to sing the opening - welcome - song, accompanies by the Guitarist.   

The groups are so beneficial and enjoyable  for both Dementia suffers and their Carers.  There is always someone to talk to about any problems and advice is always available.

We made many friends over the years, and even though Ken has now passed, I still attend the groups and continue to  give support to others.

The groups offer a new lease of life to both newly diagnosed sufferers and Carers, who may feel  there is no help out there.

Please come along if you can, It is life changing.

 

BRENDA - Carer

We started attending Singing For The Brain about three years ago when socialising in the usual way started to become more difficult. Apprehensive at first, but we both got a very warm welcome from the lovely volunteers and was made to feel part of the group instantly. Apart from the pleasure you get from seeing your ‘cared for’ enjoying the singing and dancing, it’s the social interaction with others who are in (or have been in) a similar situation that becomes an invaluable social support. Ultimately, you can relax for a couple of hours because everyone just understands the complexities and challenges dementia caring brings and you make lots of new friends.

 

RITA - Carer/Volunteer 

My late husband, Derek, and I joined Singing for the Brain 6 years ago.  We enjoyed the entertainment and the social activities, and we gained a lot of information not available elsewhere and made many friends.  The volunteers were always there to help us with any problems or questions.  SFTB became very much part of our lives, and we enjoyed many social trips out with the group visiting places of interest, theatre trips and boat trips.  As a carer I did not feel alone in my caring role and the group gave me peace of mind on many occasions.  Derek passed away near the end of 2020, and I did not hesitate to enrol as a volunteer.  Can't thank the group enough for the enjoyment and advice given since joining the weekly sessions.

 

DENISE - Carer

What a fantastic group of people.singing for the brain makes such a difference to those who are suffering with Dementia.I have attended this group with a lady I used to care for, and it made a great difference. To her well-being every day she said when can we go to that group for the singing and dancing.x if you care for someone with dementia go along once you are able to. And you see the difference for yourself. Great friendly people.

 

VERONICA - Carer

Very special people who give their time and loving care to singing for the brain and dementia groups. Supporting family carers.

 

MARIE - Carer

We (Joe and I) have been regulars at Havering Singing for the Brain for the last 3 years. It is a MUST for carers and loved ones with Dementia. You meet the loveliest people both carers and loved ones and volunteers and organizers, who provide laughter, entertainment, understanding, chats, friendships, and more, so that you are never alone, even afterwards. Try it once, and you will not want to give it up!!!!! We love it and I am sure you would too.xxx

 

 

DAVE - Carer

Linda and I started attending the Wednesday club for somewhere to socialize and talk with people and who never judge you ,,when Linda was home, although she seemed that she was not dancing she always enquired when is the singing club, even though she is unable to attend now I still go for the music and just to be able to chat with people who understand perfectly your worries and concerns.

 

GEORGE - Musician/Volunteer
I retired in 2016  at the age of  72, and having lots of time on my hands, I began to look for local charity work as a Volunteer. That is how I found Havering Singing For The Brain 2020, and the bonus was - the work allowed me to fulfil my love of making music and singing. I had found a 'pot of gold' just up the road!  After attending my first group, and meeting the Volunteers and users,, I knew that I would be around for a very long time.

That was 5 years ago now and my partner - Julie - also became a Volunteer. 

With my trusty Guitar, I currently lead the group and individual singing sessions at the beginning of the groups; do a one hour singing session on a week-to-week rota with a number of other entertainers, and help out in general. 

It has been a wonderful journey thus far, and we are looking forward to many more years of helping to provide a valuable and much-needed service to people with Dementia and their Carers

 

VICKI - Carer

I attended my first session of Havering Singing For the Brain along with my Mum who has Alzheimer's disease in September 2019 when my parents first moved to Havering. As soon as we walked through the door we felt immediately welcome and were surrounded by friendly people who were all in the same situation as us. My Mum loved the music, and we were soon up singing and dancing with everyone. The next time we went, my Dad (reluctantly at first) accompanied us too... and has been most weeks since! He has also been diagnosed with dementia, and he gets so much joy from the club too.  The people that run the club and the volunteers (who always greet you with a smile and a nice cup of tea/coffee and biscuits) are all just lovely people that make the club a special place where you can just be yourself without judgement and have a great time. The atmosphere in the club is great, which is also due to the brilliant singers/entertainers. I often feel like I'm at a party with family and friends when I'm there! It's also a great place for carers to share experiences and get some advice from other people who are facing the same problems as you, something that I personally have found invaluable as they really understand the challenges we face. It honestly warms my heart to see my parents together on a dance floor again surrounded by people who have become their friends. Thank you HSFTB for giving them some of that joy back in their lives! :)

 

DAVID - Carer

In March 2018 my beautiful mother Patricia Joan Goodson was diagnosed with vascular dementia, all the family was devastated and fearing the road ahead.

Myself being Mum & Dad's full-time carer was struggling the most and sometimes i was like a rabbit caught up in the headlights, frozen with fear not knowing what to do.

I then came across HAVERING SINGING FOR THE BRAIN by chance and I thought I would take mum along to see if it would help her cope with her condition. Me being a man and being out of my comfort zone was very nervous as i had never done anything like this before.

But from the moment we stepped through the door any fear had gone.

From Ben to Lisa to George and all the volunteers we were made to feel very welcome from the outset.

Mum was in her prime drinking lots of tea and eating cake and having a dance, it was so good seeing her smiling and enjoying herself. From the outset the club was for Mum to help her, but the valuable advice i got from all the volunteers and other members helped me cope enormously they were always there for both of us.

Highlight of our week was going to the Monday and Wednesday groups and seeing great people and great characters, mum was always happy and i was always laughing.

I will forever be grateful to the HSFTB Family

 

PAT - Carer 

Henry and I thoroughly enjoyed the SFTB sessions; as you could easily see from his 'performances'.

He loved socializing with you all and was always eager to go.

Although my walking problem precluded any dancing on my part it was a real joy to see Henry having fun

and even becoming part of the entertainment.

 

CATHY - Carer

After attending a Carers conference some 3 years ago, I found Singing 4 the Brain and took my mum along. We didn’t know what to expect but were made to feel so welcome. The people were so friendly, and we got to drink tea and eat biscuits and cake! Mum has always loved to dance, so this group was perfect for her. Pre COVID-19, members could choose to sing solo songs with the help of the musicians and singers, and everyone was very supportive, then we would all sing and dance together. It was always so joyful that we became regulars and we both really enjoyed it. Now, when my mum walks through the door, she comes alive and dances the whole time, it’s so lovely to see a glimpse of my old mum, still there and still able to enjoy herself.  As a carer, it has been the best group for me too, Ben and Lisa have been so helpful and Yve, one of the volunteers, has been a good friend to my mum during COVID-19. But I have made friends with other Carers too who understand my journey as well as mum’s. I can’t praise this group highly enough. Don’t hesitate, give it a go. You will be so glad that you did.

 

BRIAN - Carer

We can not speak highly enough of the wonderful volunteers of Havering Singing for the Brain 2020.  Wendy has had so much pleasure from the sessions - as anyone could see from the permanent smile on her face!  We are looking forward to the time when the sessions re-start.  Thank you all so much.

 

PAULINE - Carer 

My mum attended Singing for the Brain for many years, and although she  couldn't remember anything about it, the enjoyment she got while she was there was enormous and the happy feelings she experienced as a result of going lasted all day.  She couldn't remember something you told her 30 seconds before, but she could remember the songs she sang from way back, and she joined in with gusto.  I think being part of the group made her feel included and not someone just sitting around waiting to be told what to do next.

The volunteers are wonderful and make everyone feel welcome.  

 

PAULINE - Carer

I always felt welcome, like one big family and even when a loved one has passed, their partner/carer was still welcomed into the club.  The volunteers are wonderful, full of compassion and understanding and the club gives a sense of belonging in what could otherwise be a lonely situation.  The singing brings out all the enjoyment of bygone days which is clearly visible for all to see.