A NEW choir launched to help stir up memories for people with dementia has been hailed a big success after its launch.

Halstead’s Empire Theatre set up the scheme for people living in the town and surrounding areas.

Plans for the choir have been in the pipeline for months.

The first session took place last Tuesday and was attended by more than 25 eager participants.

A spokesman said: “The Empire Theatre aims to ensure that people living with dementia and their carers have the opportunity to sing in a choir.

“We think it is important that people living with dementia and their carers have the chance to sing in a choir locally.

“Research has already shown that the benefits of participation in community singing can include improved mental, social and emotional wellbeing, increased confidence and improved quality of life.

“Choirs also provide the opportunity for fun, friendship, feeling happier, feeling worthwhile and feeling valued.

“Singing in a choir can give a sense of belonging as well as a sense of pride in the group and its achievements, and individuals can also do something that they enjoy, where dementia is not the focus.”

The project is being supported by the BIG Sing Soul and Colne View Care UK, with funding from Greenfields Residents’ Group North.

Tutor Edie Farrell took everyone through the phases, from warm-up exercises to singing together.

The new choir already has plans to stage a performance on Saturday, December 14.

Colne View Care’s Kim Richardson said: “After months of planning, it was so rewarding to see the choir form together and with Edie’s expertise we were able to hear the choir already take form in such a short space of time.

“We can’t wait to hear what we can produce in the next workshop and really look forward to performing in the concert in December.”

Sessions are free and the next one will take place on Tuesday, October 1, at 1.45pm.

For more information on how to take part, email mike@empire-theatre.co.uk or call 07947 556501.