Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000


Norton Hive became a Community Library in April 2017 . The books and IT remain the remit of the County Council but, as a Charitable organisation it is up to our volunteers to grow the 'Community Hub' part of The Hive, hence the development of our singing project.

From personal experience I am aware of the positive effects of music and singing for dementia sufferers and have experienced in practice how effective it can be in promoting well being for individuals, even in the later stages of their illness. There are also proven benefits for all ages and abilities.

In childhood singing has positive effects on learning and development. It aids the building of language, IQ and memory.

Singing is a multisensory activity. It is socially inclusive. It can serve to evoke memories, usually of a positive nature. It improves self esteem, reducing depression and anxiety.

Music improves brain structure and function. It helps promote good quality sleep and healing. It has myriad benefits for everyone and is a universal means of communication.

Our vision is to run a regular singing and music session, in the library space. The 'loud' part of the event will take place before the afternoon library session. When the library opens members of 'Next Steps' a local mental health support charity will come in to run a pop-up cafe. Cakes and bakes made at their centre will be served by their members, increasing their skills and confidence and allowing them social contact with new groups of people.

There are similar musical groups in the area but these are mostly aimed at older participants, or those suffering from early stage dementias and their carers. Our plan has a more eclectic remit and, as well as older people, we will invite individuals with mental health, physical and learning disabilities to participate. The inclusion of residents from caring institutions; nursing homes, residential homes and other community residences and groups, will be encouraged. Our weekly children's Storytime families have already expressed an interest in attending as has Sight Support, a charitable organisation sharing our premises. They support partially sighted and blind people to maintain social contacts and are keen to use us a resource.

We are exploring various sources of musical input. We will sing without music if necessary, but have located a keyboard player, an accordionist, a guitarist , a drummer and also plan to sing-a-long to CDs of music from the last 70 years, as well as traditional favourites. Children's instruments are already available but we hope to purchase adult percussion instruments so that others can join in. We hope to have other singers and musicians in to showcase different music styles, e.g. input from schools, music pupils, various choirs and speciality concerts. Once we are established the choice of music would be participant led.

We plan to launch Sing Live at the Hive in the New Year, with a taster event before Christmas and are applying for the sum of £1000 to get it up and running. We wish to purchase equipment, including a CD player and sing-a-long CDs, songbooks, musical instruments which can be played by participants and some comfortable stacking chairs, as the library lacks seating.

We aim just to cover the rental for the space so fees for both the music session and refreshments will be low, hopefully encouraging a good take up. There will be no charge for carers.

This will be a very active and alive session for the Hive, important socially for some who are confined for the majority of the time to their usual environments. We will link in with other local community charities and be open to all comers.

Please vote for our 'Sing Live at the Hive' project. We will still try to set up the group using existing resources but funds would, of course, make it easier and increasingly viable.

Cast your votes for us then come and join us singing 'Live at the Hive'. Thank you.

Norton Hive Library and Community Hub (Registered as Norton Community Library and Hub)

Moment of Pride

This project is all inclusive ; open to young and old, able and not so able. Our accessible music group will bring local people together in a fun atmosphere. I am also proud that other local charities are joining with us to make this a truly community project.

Location: Norton-on-Derwent, United Kingdom