The power of singing in connecting older people
Goldies Live offers fun, free sing-a-longs from the sofa to help older people stay connected
The Goldies Charity are well known and loved for their daytime Sing&Smile sessions and run groups across England and Wales. These fun social sing-a-long sessions, alongside intergenerational activities, Age Awareness days, concerts and festive celebrations, aim to combat isolation with older isolated and often vulnerable people, building stronger communities and supportive friendships.
The charity’s first ever digital service, launched during lockdown, GoldiesLive – a fun, free online sing-a-long weekly sessions are available on their YouTube, Facebook and dedicated website. Sessions are having a positive effect on hundreds of beneficiaries who enjoy singing along to the popular hits of the 50s onwards with the onscreen words, taking part in movement to music activities, commenting on/sharing Goldies music, making song requests, sharing special occasions and getting involved from the comfort of their home. Festive and culturally focused sessions are also on offer.
See the full details and sessions on their website. Here is what Mike from Stoke Gifford said about his experience with Goldies, “A few years ago I was a fulltime carer for my wife. When she passed, I joined an After Carers group in Fishponds which was a bit of a journey. I met a lady called Joan who recommended Goldies to me as it was on my doorstep, so I went along and found a whole new group of friends. I was hooked from the start and you couldn’t keep me away. We have done so many exciting trips and activities. I have joined the launch party of the 200th Goldies session, the Bristol Goldies Day and many others, I even went to sing in the Parliament! I can’t recommend it enough, it has been my life.”
Mike also joined the GoldiesLive sessions during lockdown, which he said have been really great during this difficult year. Mike adds, “My session leader Adele told me about it. She is wonderful and has been calling me from time to time to catch up. I have formed a support bubble with Joan and we meet once a week and watch both the Tuesday and Thursday sessions back to back on my laptop through YouTube. We sing-a-long and I am up and dancing, waving my arms around. Sometimes I watch them again when I am home alone. The leaders Rachel and Cheryl are just brilliant, they do so well. I do laugh when Rachel brings out her guitar! I love the clips they have included from other session leaders and I would love more of that.”
Mike also added that, “We have renamed ourselves the Goldies Laughter Club. We can’t wait for Goldies to start up again. I find it so beneficial for me, when we do restart I’m thinking about joining another Goldies group too, maybe the new Gloucester Old Spot session as I’d love to be in a group led by Rachel, I feel I know her well now.”
GoldiesLive sessions have helped people like Mike connect to others. He acknowledges, “Right from the start of lockdown GoldiesLive gave me something to get into, a welcome continuation of something I was used to. It puts me in a good mood, and I wouldn’t be without it. I do miss the social side when we can’t meet as a group, but after I have watched a GoldiesLive session I ring round my friends and we chat about it so I am still getting that social contact. Goldies is very, very good. If I had my way I would go back to the Stoke Gifford session, join more sessions and I would still do it on the laptop every week too.”
Rachel Parry is a leader at Goldies Live
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