Due to the current situation, our project The Smiling Sessions project is in lock down until further notice, but myself, Violaine and our fabulous team of musicians have been brainstorming ideas and technology, to find the best way to reach out remotely to connect with our most vulnerable beneficiaries. We are in the process of adapting our project to the circumstances and will start as soon as we are able.
To reach out vulnerable senior citizens and keep their spirits up, reassuring them they are in our thoughts, we propose:
- To send letters, song lyrics, pop quizzes by email to each Housing Scheme/Care Home Manager who will circulate to residents
- To pre-record and send a Smiling song a week via a private link on internet. For those who do not have access to the internet, a carer would take a tablet into each room, at allocated times, to play the singalong for them. The tablet would be disinfected each time.
- To pre-record and send video music quizzes (same process as for the Smiling song).
- To call residents regularly who have given permission. Our Shapeshifter Befriending Volunteers will have a friendly chat and monitor the sing-a-longs.
The Smiling Remotely project will attempt to perpetuate and support the well-being and mental health of our beneficiaries, many of whom are completely confined to one small room 24/7, with no independent access to telephone, internet, CD player, etc.
We know music and singing is good for the brain, general well-being and certainly the soul.
Here is an interesting article explaining that 400 published scientific papers confirm that “Music is medicine”: https://www.livemusicnow.org.uk/wellbeing_older_people
We aim to eventually reach 50+ schemes/care homes across London and East Sussex therefore approximately 600 residents weekly.
If you work for a sheltered housing scheme or care home and would like to be part of this new Smiling Remotely Project, please contact Violaine Bailleul: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you value the work of Shapeshifter Productions, please consider supporting us at this time with a donation – any amount from £10-£100 will help us reaching out remotely to sing, connect and communicate with as many vulnerable senior citizens in deprived areas of London and beyond.
You can donate here: https://www.paypal.me/shapeshifterprod
Keep safe, keep well, keep singing!
Alison Jones and The Smiling Team