Older people throughout Ryedale are being brought together to enjoy monthly concerts, tea and conversation, with musicians from the renowned Live Music Now Charity (LMN).
Older people are particularly vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness owing to loss of friends and family, mobility or income. They may face difficulties in communicating, cut off from the joy and pleasures of participating and sharing with others.
LMN created the Songs and Scones programme to share the uplifting benefits of high quality live music concerts with older people in the community. The first two events have seen over 70 in attendance in Amotherby Village Hall.
Ryedale District Council is supporting the concert series "This is particularly relevant to Ryedale, as our population includes a large proportion of older residents, some of whom experience loneliness and some of whom have health problems" said Julian Rudd, Head of Economy and Infrastructure. "Songs and Scones brings people together, away from the potential isolation of their own home, and into a musical environment which is warm, stimulating and joyful."
The musicians, who are specially trained by Live Music Now to work within local communities, are recognised as amongst the most talented emerging performers in the UK. Singer, Chloe Saywell and pianist, Stephenie Leung shared a wide ranging repertoire, with something for everyone. They invite people to sing along and dance as well.
"An added bonus is that this is a community event in all ways" said Live Music Now North East Director, Lucy Galliard. "The catering is provided by the Camphill Trust, who support adults with learning disabilities, and the wonderful team of local volunteers from Ryedale Carers Support and Ryedale Community Transport are collecting participants from their homes to bring them to the concert – which is held in a welcoming village hall."
Ryedale Carers Support works with older people and their carers in a very rural area of North Yorkshire. "More than anything else 'Songs and Scones' is a fun event, the free transport enables isolated people to participate," said the organisation's Claire Hall. "We hope that over the forthcoming year friendships will be forged and experiences shared. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Live Music Now."
Funding has been secured to provide monthly Songs and Scones events at Amotherby Village Hall on the second Tuesday of each month from April 2013 to January 2014. Live Music Now is actively seeking further support to continue this valuable activity.
A recent report found that nearly one-fifth of over 75s felt lonely much of the time, and whilst a quarter of 65-74 year olds live alone, nearly half of over 75s do so.