Sing ‘SensationALLy’ with Westhill choir

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A Donside charity is to set up a community choir for disabled young people and their families thanks to a grant from People’s Health Trust.

SensationALL, a Westhill based charity that seeks to empower children and young adults with disabilities, has received a £23,211 grant from People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthKind through the Health Lottery.

The funding will enable SensationALL to establish an innovative community choir which will bring together disabled young people and their families with local residents in Westhill. Through the power of music, young people have an opportunity to learn, have fun and make new friends, while increasing awareness in the community of the difficulties they face and the potential they have.

SensationALL plan to offer weekly choir sessions involving specialist music therapists as well as others with an interest and experience in singing or supporting young people with special needs. The grant received will cover running costs for an initial two year period but it is hoped that through success the choir will be adopted by the Westhill community ensuring its continuance beyond that time.

In the coming weeks, local residents wishing to participate as choir members, musicians, or volunteer helpers will be given an opportunity to help make SensationALL Singers a reality.

Charity Founder Susan Kay, said: “Our families have difficulty finding affordable activities in which all family members can participate and also fully accommodate the special needs of their child. Thanks to this funding from People’s Health Trust we can offer an uplifting and exciting social activity that people of all ages and abilities can participate in and benefit from.

“There is a wealth of information about the health benefits that singing together can offer in terms of increasing confidence, self-esteem, memory, concentration and social skills. Singing stimulates all the senses and encourages emotional expression as well as having physical benefits in terms of improved breathing and muscle tone. We are so grateful to People’s Health Trust for this opportunity to make our inclusive vision a reality.”

A parent from the group said: “My six year old son with complex needs and Autism who is non-verbal, responds so much more to music than language, and his face lights up as soon as any music starts and his sister can help him play the percussion instruments so they can share the experience.”

SensationALL currently offers bookable sensory sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays, a preschool group, and a selection of Stay and Play sessions.

The local charity hopes to set up a Soft Play room with padded walls and floor, which would offer a safe area to challenge children and young adults’ motor skills and coordination.

For more information about SensationALL, volunteering opportunities, and the community choir visit www.sensationall.org.uk.