What have you been doing today?
Started my day finishing paperwork and updating sound clips for a group we ran yesterday afternoon – Melodies for Mums. It’s a research based 10-week singing group (based in London Borough of Southwark) aimed at women primarily with PND, stress, anxiety. The results from the research show that group singing can be really beneficial for this group. We run 2 groups of up to 14 participants. I then updated attendance records for Trust Harmonix – the community staff choir that Breathe AHR delivers into Guys & St Thomas’ NHS Trust. We meet every Monday evening and have around 30 singers. We are preparing for a performance at the end of March.
Then went to Guy’s hospital to support our amazing team of volunteers who were organising our weekly public lunchtime performance programme and spent time chatting with a couple of nurses, telling them about the performing programme we have, chatted to a coup[le of colleagues and delightful but world weary 92 year old lady who has been in hospital for over 3 months and had been brought along to the concert by an HCA and then (randomly) I sorted a problem with a broken store room door. Soup happened at some point during this time!
A team meeting followed and then came back to our office. Made a swift call to the lunchtime performer (a lovely jazz singer who features regularly in our programme) to check she was okay as one of the patients had briefly interrupted the end of her performance and although she is experienced with these type of minor incidents, it’s always good to check in with artists when they crop up.
Finished the day with emails.
Is that a typical day for you?
Yes, or variations of.
When did you start working with culture, health and wellbeing, and how?
I’ve been with Breathe Arts Health Research for about 6 years, having moved from the NHS (the same Trust we deliver into in fact) and it’s great to be able use my experience from the inside to help shape what we do now. A good friend who had worked as an OT on the Breathe Magic programme many years ago told me they were recruiting.
What was the last project you came across that inspired you?
So many – there are some great programmes and inspiring pieces out there. Something that resonated with me personally is Vamos Theatre’s piece Finding Joy – a brilliantly executed masked performance that portrays the experience of dementia. It can be an amazing learning experience from so many perspectives.