The event, titled ‘Singing on prescription: what do we need to be ready?’ is one in a series of ‘Creative Thinktanks’ held at Snape Maltings, designed to explore the role of music in health and wellbeing.
Peter Thompson, 75, from Woodbridge, has Parkinson’s disease and has been part of the Skylarks Sing to Beat Parkinson’s group at Snape Maltings for two years. He said, “I have got so much out of attending the singing group. It may surprise people but there is lots of evidence that singing may actually make people with Parkinson’s stronger, it is known to be good for balance and overall strength, as well as strengthening the vocal chords, which are quite often weakened in people with Parkinson’s disease. I have a stronger and more confident voice as a result of my singing! It is also a wonderful morale booster when you are a little bit down, as you often can be when you have a difficult health condition to live with. Many people in the group really benefit from the social contact and the sense of community. I think introducing singing on prescription is a very sensible idea and Snape Maltings is the perfect organisation to lead the way with this. The work they do is marvellous.”
Bev Turner is the NHS Lead on Social Prescribing and is attending the Thinktank. She said, “I’m excited to be taking part in the Snape Maltings Thinktank on social prescribing. I’m particularly looking forward to thinking creatively together with a range of partners about how we can enable more people to sing for wellbeing, and how we can ensure that local groups provide good quality, safe, sustainable support to communities through social prescribing. The creative space of Snape Maltings is perfect for these Thinktank meetings that encourage collaboration and support the process of working together for wellbeing. It’s great that Snape is taking the initiative, bringing people together to build this social prescribing movement. We need more opportunities like this. Thank you Snape Maltings for your leadership here.”
Louise Hardwick, Head of Partnerships, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “East Suffolk is certainly at the forefront of championing and implementing social prescribing as an effective way of supporting people to enjoy physically and mentally well lives.
“At the heart of social prescribing is the understanding that medicine from the doctor isn’t always the answer. Accessing new opportunities, making new friends and being able to express oneself through arts participation can boost a person’s wellbeing, restore their confidence and greatly improve their life.
“This CreativeThinktank event is a really special opportunity to understand what more we can collectively achieve.”