Staff at a local NHS Trust have created a virtual singing group to encourage connections during lockdown.
Thanks to the success of an interactive singing session during a recent virtual conference, Senior Arts Therapist Cindy-Jo Morison and AHP (Allied Health Professionals) Consultant Julie Morrow wanted to offer staff at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) an opportunity to enjoy their lunch break.
Led by Cindy-Jo, the sessions will begin on 8th March and will take place every Monday lunch time over Microsoft Teams.
Cindy-Jo said: “The health benefits of singing are well-documented. It’s an effective stress reliever and can improve your mood, sleep and confidence to name a few.
“Of course, there are social benefits too. This is particularly important during this time as many of us may be shielding or working from home and missing those face-to-face interactions.
“We know it isn’t the same as joining in real life but hope it will be something to brighten up a Monday lunch time.”
Named ‘CNTW Warblers’, the events are designed to help staff let off steam. Participants will be able to switch off their microphones and cameras so they can sing along without fear of people seeing or hearing. Singing has also been found to boost your immune system.
Julie added: “After organising CNTW’s annual AHP conference and having a really positive response to a sing-a-long we had, we thought this should be something we extend to all staff.
“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, those who are joining in will have to be in a room alone but we hope that coming together virtually will be just as fun.”
Participants will also be asked to suggest their own songs for the sessions.
The singing events are one of a number of staff wellbeing initiatives at CNTW. Others include a fortnightly newsletter signposting staff to health and wellbeing resources, virtual wobble rooms and livecasts on a range of topics from worry and uncertainty to sleep and burnout among health professionals.
CNTW is a leading provider of mental health and disability services in the North East and north Cumbria.