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Warbling in Wythenshawe

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Research suggests that group singing can be beneficial for people living with long-term breathing conditions. Some people with breathing conditions have said that singing helps them to feel less short of breath and more in control of their breathing. We’ve been giving people in Wythenshawe the chance to try it out.

We joined forces with community singing group, the Wigan Warblers, and Hannah McGuigan, a vocal coach and professional musician who works with creative music charity, Brighter Sound, to bring Wythenshawe alive with the sound of music.

We got together once a week for six weeks to give people living with breathing conditions the chance to meet new people, exercise their lungs and voices and help us make some noise about health research.

Singing everything from Blue Moon to Yellow Submarine to Happy Days the feedback from the 15 local people who joined us for a warble was fantastic.

"I've been telling everybody about it" said Bernadette.

"I find it easier to breathe when I'm singing" added Margaret.

We were also lucky enough to have visits from a physiotherapist and from Wythenshawe Hospital respirtory specialists, Professor Jorgen Vestbo and Doctor Binita Kane, who answered questions about breathing conditions and research and listened to the views of our patient singers in between songs.

Another slightly deeper voice who enjoyed the chance to sing and find out about research is Graham. He jumped at the chance to get involved in singing as another activity alongside walking his dog that he can still do, after feeling that his breathing conditon had stopped him doing lots of things he used to enjoy doing.

Graham said: "The experience is great, I love my singing and being involved in a choir with all these lovely people it’s been a joy and a pleasure."

The singers ended the project with a brilliant performance at the Breathtaking Lungs Clean Air Day Event which took place on Thursday 21 June at Wythenshawe Forum.

We are now working with partners to help find a way to keep the group going. If you're interested in helping us do this then please get in touch with cassia.wilson@mft.nhs.uk.