Springwood Community Association in Waterlooville has a large older persons population with the Community Association based in the heart of the housing estate. When the trustees of the association took it upon themselves to examine the number of older people based in the area compared to the number that used the centre they were forced to look at how this could be improved.
As part of the community support teams partnership funding stream the opportunity arose for the association to employ an Older Peoples Activities Co-ordinator in order to help tackle this problem. Before the co-ordinator had been employed a lot of work had already gone on and the association had a very successful luncheon club running. This gave the co-ordinator the opportunity to build on this and produced a simple questionnaire designed to give the association some simple ideas on activities that could appeal to those already attending the community building in addition to, other, older people in the community.
The questionnaires returned included such suggestions as armchair aerobics, short matt bowls, New Age Kurling and sing-a-long karaoke sessions. Another issue which the association identified through this was that they needed to develop different way of reaching the community, new advertising techniques and helping older people get to the community centre. Although the building is in the centre of a housing estate they found some people needed transport.
The Older Peoples Activities Co-ordinator decided to develop the sing-a-long session, which the association have called “silver song clubs”, as the HCC community support team were running karaoke sessions as a optional project within the partnership funding stream and so could be supported through this process.
Two representatives of Springwood Community Association came along to a training day run by Hampshire County Council, facilitated by Mathew Reisling of Sing for Your Life. This training session aimed to help facilitators of singing sessions to build confidence and to teach skills and techniques to help the session run as a success.
The first taster session was held in October 2008 and followed on from the well established lunch club, it was a great success with 15 people attending.
Since the first taster session there have been a further four and all were well attended. The association has now gone on to purchase there own equipment and music and run a session every Tuesday afternoon.
The Association have plans to develop the silver song clubs by inviting children and young people from Purbrook Park Community School along to help facilitate the session, and develop an inter-generational project as this is already being done in the centre with activities such as short matt bowls and chair aerobics and so far has proven to be a great success.
Springwood silver song club also plan to attend a “Get Hampshire Singing” Event being held on the 21 July 2009 at Winchester Discovery Centre in order to celebrate all the good work the groups have done developing singing clubs around the county.
The silver song groups are helping contribute to the Older Peoples Well-Being Strategy County Priorities:
Contact Matthew Reisling
tel 01303 298546/298549