The power of music connecting Clarence residents
WHEN Jenny Worrell started the Forget Me Not Choir, she underestimated the major impact it would have on the Clarence Valley community.
"It's quite amazing what music can do for people,” she said.
"We see people coming in feeling absolutely terrible because they can't do the things they used to, or they struggle to communicate, but then, about 10 minutes in, they're smiling, singing and for some, tapping into their memories.”
Last year, Ms Worrell and Leigh Robertson decided to start the free social group as a way of bridging the gap between lonely and/or incapacitated members of the Clarence Valley community.
"We had seen some great documentaries about dementia patients and the positive effect music had on them, so we thought we'd float the idea and see,” she said.
The idea not only took off for Grafton residents with all types of neurological problems, but also their families, carers and general community members.
Now Ms Worrell and Ms Robertson run a social group in Grafton, Maclean and Yamba.
"There's always such a buzz when people arrive,” she said.
"We generally start with about half-an-hour of singing, followed by morning tea which is provided, then a bit more singing.
"By the end of the session, everyone has the biggest smile on their face. It's incredible to see.”
The group is open to all people, and runs every Tuesday at the Clarence Valley Conservatorium.
For more information, phone: 66433555.