Transforming Communities

Comforted by the Company: Newham Community Songwriting Project Unites Older Residents in a Musical Celebration

In a heartwarming showcase of community spirit, residents of Newham came together for the end-of-project performance of a unique songwriting initiative with Live Music Now.

The project, a collaboration between Community Transport Newham and two talented Live Music Now musicians, Ainsley Hamill and Toby Shaer, unfolded over six weeks, culminating in the creation and recording of a song titled “Comforted by the Company.”

Aimed at fostering connections among older members of the community, the songwriting project saw participants from diverse backgrounds joining forces to share their stories and create music. Despite many having migrated to Newham from different places, the participants expressed a shared sense of belonging and warmth through the project, echoing sentiments of unity in the song’s lyrics:

“We came from distant lands, I thought we’d be different,
But being here with you, feels so familiar.”

“I feel comforted by the company
I’m comforted with you here.
It feels like home.”

The impact of the project extended beyond the music, as revealed in the end-of-project evaluation forms. An overwhelming 100% of participants either “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” with the statement, “Taking part in the music sessions [this project] has made me feel more positive.” One participant even shared that the experience had made her feel “Alive and wonderful.”

The collaborative effort of Live Music Now, Community Transport Newham, and the talented musicians not only resulted in a beautiful musical composition but also left a lasting imprint on the well-being and positivity of those involved.

As the song “Comforted by the Company” resonates through the community, it stands as a testament to the transformative power of music and community engagement, proving that in Newham, harmony can be found in the shared experiences of its residents.

You can listen to the song here.

Photography by Ivan Gonzalez.