Sing Your Heart Out (SYHO)
Bringing the benefits of singing in a group to people with mental health problems.
SYHO is run by volunteers, many of whom have experience of mental illness. We started in Norwich at the local psychiatric hospital in 2004 but soon moved into the community. We now have groups in Norwich, South, West and East Norfolk. We raise money locally for each group.
We run workshops where people just come and sing together - no pressure to read music, perform in public - or even sing at all if you don't feel like it! We pride ourselves on a welcoming, open, and fully inclusive environment. No one asks you if you are a mental health service user, carer, or just someone who wants to maintain their own mental wellbeing. There are no labels and lots of chocolate biscuits! We have lots of stories of how joining SYHO has helped people feel happier, less isolated, and of the benefits of signing in a group. In addition volunteers feel valued by taking on tasks such as making refreshments, setting out the room etc - small things that can mean a lot to someone for whom getting out of the house can be a struggle.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
We would spend the money establishing a fourth group in North Norfolk - as with most of our county there is considerable social isolation, and our current groups are difficult for anyone with no transport (and a long way even for those with transport)
it has long been an ambition to set up a group in North Norfolk.
We are conscious that this vulnerable group have little available in the community and we know our model works.
"It works! Singing is a great way of bringing people together to open their hearts, minds and voices. You don't have to be a great singer, just willing to have a go!
Carol Bundock, SYHO patron"