The North West Community Stroke Choir is a Stroke Association Voluntary Group for people affected by stroke in the NW region. We meet, in term times, every Monday in Dunelm Mill "Pausa Cafe", Stockport.
The choir is made up of stroke survivors, families, volunteers and people who work with, or who have been affected by, stroke. The only requirement to join is a connection to stroke and a desire to sing - there are no auditions.
Why we love to sing
- Because it sets us free from aphasia. It’s so frustrating to get stuck with words, but with singing it’s different. It’s good for the facial muscles - my mouth stopped drooping after 2 or 3 weeks, and things like do-bi-do-bi-do are very good.
- I like to learn new things, it exercises the brain. It helps me switch off from stress and is very enjoyable. It is something to look forward to.
- It's healing, fun, energising, spiritual. It lifts my spirits and my mood. There is a feeling of togetherness, we all feel better being part of the group. When you get it right there is nothing better, there is a big sense of accomplishment.
- Reduces social isolation - I don’t get out much other than appointments. It’s the highlight of my week.
- Has improved my confidence and raised my mood following my second stroke. Love the choices of songs we get to sing- Our choir leader Carol is amazing and very inspiring.
The chance to perform
We regularly perform as a choir. Both at stroke wards in hospitals around Manchester, and at public events.
Choir members say: "It is a fantastic feeling performing the songs we have worked hard to learn and to see peoples’ reactions to our songs. The feedback we receive is brilliant and makes it all worthwhile."
But if you don't want to perform, you don't have to! Just coming along to practices for a sing-a-long is absolutely fine too.