Stroke survivors in Bury St Edmunds encouraged to join new choir

Stroke survivors are being encouraged to join a new choir which is being launched with the support of St Edmundsbury Borough Council funding.

The Second Chance Stroke Survivors Club was set up eight years ago to provide social and emotional support to stroke survivors in the Bury St Edmunds area. It already employs a specialist neurological physiotherapist to work with its members, helping their continuing rehabilitation and with it their confidence. The group also organises outings, sports and other activities including dance sessions all to help rebuild the confidence and independence of stroke survivors.

Now the group, which is open to new members, is about to start a choir, backed with £600 of locality funding from St Edmundsbury Borough councillor Patsy Warby.

Penny Baker, organiser at the club, said: “There has been a lot of scientific research into the positive effects of singing for stroke survivors. That research shows that singing helps to improve concentration, coordination, attention, personal awareness and memory.

“There are some stroke survivors who, due to a condition called aphasia, can no longer talk but music comes from a different part of the brain to speech. Watching someone who cannot talk but who can put across their emotions, thoughts and feelings through the power of song, is simply incredible.

“Many stroke survivors suffer from anxiety and depression but singing lifts people’s spirits by releasing endorphins into the body. It also reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation by bringing people together.

“The locality funding from councillor Warby will pay for an electric piano which will be used to accompany the choir at its singing therapy sessions at Great Barton Village Hall. It is hoped that these sessions will take place at least once a month.!

Councuillor Warby said: “My husband and I know a great many people who have suffered a stroke and it impacts not just on their lives but the people around them as well. This group is about helping people recognise that they have been given a second chance at life, and helping them make the most of that chance by giving them the support and rehabilitation that they need.

“I am only too pleased to be able to support the club with its fabulous work and I am sure that activities including the new choir will help improve the quality of life for stroke survivors in the area.”

For more on the Second Chance Stroke Club visit

You can also find the group on Facebook at and on Twitter at @secondchanceclub

Pictured above is Denise Bird, at the piano, with members and volunteers of The Second Chance Stroke Survivors Club and councillors Patsy Warby and Patrick Chung.

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