In good voice to sing for heart

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Singers going carolling this Christmas have been urged to promote heart health and support a Leeds-based charity.

Heart Research UK, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is calling on singers young and old to join in the Sing for Your Heart scheme.

School and community choirs, buskers, singers, groups and workplaces are being asked to hold a concert or singalong to raise money for the charity’s work in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Barbara Harpham, chief executive of Heart Research UK, said: “This is something anyone can do and is great for all of our hearts.

“Whether you’re in a band, choir or just partial to a bit of karaoke, Sing for Your Heart is the perfect excuse to get together with friends, family and colleagues to have fun and raise money for Heart Research UK, especially in the run up to Christmas when everyone is feeling festive.”

Supporters include Harrogate woman Kerry Morrison, whose daughter Lynda received a donated heart 22 years ago. Kerry has organised Sing for Your Heart events in Harrogate with St Mark’s Church Choir for several years and said: “Sing for Your Heart is a way of us raising awareness and helping others like Lynda through Heart Research UK.”

This year Sally’s Army, a group of singers from Otley, will again be performing Sing for Your Heart in Leeds. Founder Sally Egan said: “It is a great opportunity to give something back and do something together which may help change someone’s life, and we all love doing it. Sally’s Army always sing from the heart, so it is lovely for us to Sing for Your Heart too.”

Heart Research UK started the Sing for Your Heart campaign over a decade ago, because singing really is beneficial for your heart.

Studies have shown that singing expands your lungs and also increases oxygenation of the blood.

Prof Graham Welch, chair of music education at the Institute of Education, University of London, said: “The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological.

“Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting.“

Louise Barnes with her son Daniel. Picture: L. Barnes

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