Welcome to a cheerful and inclusive Creative Space, where brightly coloured ukeleles and the joy of singing together is making the world more wonderful for many community members. One of the many ways our local Vinnies is bringing hope to people and building community, with a little help from Council’s Community Assistance Scheme.
Being surrounded by good company and laughter has helped to make life all the more enjoyable for Sing and Make participant, Mudita; “I love being part of the music and singing with like-minded people and always come away from the classes with a feeling of inspiration and achievement. It makes my world more wonderful!”
Organiser Tania PD McInnes from Vinnies says it’s rewarding for the volunteers to see participants light up as barriers to community involvement break down and friendships strengthened. “No experience is needed to join in, it’s about enjoying time together and having a laugh and a sing which really lifts the spirits.”
Rolling three musical opportunities into one, the project promotes personal growth for participants. “Community Singing needs little introduction, we know the science and the positive atmosphere point to great outcomes for individuals and groups alike.
We added ‘It’s Never too Late – to learn an instrument’ into our funding application, hence the ukuleles!” Tania says.
The third project component is an opportunity for something a little different. “Once a month, River Road play beautiful, relaxing music live in the space which we call ‘Music While Making’. People enjoy a sound bath while they paint, sculpt, knit or do whatever they like during our Open Studios time. It’s both relaxing and inspiring,” Tania explains.
Focused on igniting lifelong learning through music and the arts, sessions are facilitated by River Road Creative Academy. They share the commitment of Creative Space to celebrating diversity and valuing each person’s individual gifts, supporting equal access to the arts. “We know that music evokes a sense of compassion and belonging in group participants,” Tania says. “The opportunity to sing together and explore the power of sound. cultivates confidence and strengthens connections.”
Adults who live in Wingecarribee are invited to attend a choice of weekly or fortnightly sessions over the course of 12 months.
“Just seeing the Ukuleles on the wall when I walk in is a reminder of the joyful experience I have during our time together. I’ve discovered I love to sing! And it’s been so beneficial for my mental wellbeing, giving me something to look forward to in my day.” Mudita says. Fellow participant, Emma, said “The music and singing makes me feel so relaxed. It gives me great pleasure to share in the experience with other people.”
After responding to community requests for a relaxed singing group, the space received overwhelmingly positive feedback. This pointed to the need for further funding to be able to expand on the offering and Vinnies successfully applied for grant funding through Council’s Community Assistance Scheme
“We love seeing the positive difference our Community Assistance Scheme can make within the community by strengthening connections and uplifting people in creative ways like this,” says Council’s Coordinator Community Development Corinne Buxton.
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