A singing group for people in Leeds with neurological conditions has been given celebrity backing by Kay Mellor OBE.
The Leeds-born writer and producer has been unveiled as patron of the Giving Voice choir, which was set up last year by Wendy Neill, a speech and language therapist at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
As one of the only inclusive singing groups in West Yorkshire, Giving Voice has given people with conditions like strokes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and dementia the chance to socialise and stretch their vocal chords.
Singing as therapy for people with speech or memory issues is based on a significant body of research. A Harvard Medical Study in 2010 found that teaching stroke patients to sing “rewires” their brains to help them recover speech.
Mellor said: “Anyone of us could find ourselves in the same situation as the members of the choir, through stroke, accident or illness. To have a facility such as Giving Voice is incredibly important and I am honoured to support them.”
The Giving Voice group is open to over 18s affected by neurological conditions. It meets at Holy Trinity Church, in Boar Lane, every Tuesday between 6.30pm and 8pm.
Founder Wendy Neill set up the choir as a six-month pilot project in June last year. Nearly a year on, she has 30 members who have performed across the city and its success has seen it given long-term funding.
She said: “We are all thrilled to have Kay on board as our patron. This year we’re looking forward to doing even more performances and welcoming new members.”
To join the choir or for further information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0113 2208528.