A musical group which helps people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory illnesses to improve lung function by singing, is going from strength to strength, expanding to tackle long COVID (long-term effects of coronavirus).
Singing4Breathing (S4B) is a Northampton based not for profit organisation which has further initiated groups in Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough. Members took part in a successful concert in 2019 which raised £4,000.
The pandemic forced the group to put the weekly sessions on hold, but instead they went virtual and attracted new members from all over the UK and even Canada.
They have just started back with in-person sessions in Northampton as well as the virtual groups – a hybrid system.
They have also launched a new Post COVID Recovery Group (PCRG), to help people who suffer post COVID or long COVID manage their breathlessness and other symptoms and also run weekly harmonica sessions for sufferers.
In COPD Awareness Month (November 2021), Shoosmiths wanted to highlight the important work of S4B - in which the law firm is delighted to sponsor.
An estimated 1.2 million people in the U.K. are living with COPD, making it the second most common lung disease after asthma. Around 2% of the whole population – 4.5% of all people aged over 40 – live with diagnosed COPD.
COPD is a condition that affects the lungs causing the airways to be damaged and making it harder to breathe. COPD accounts for 1.4 million GP consultations a year and one million bed days annually, costing the NHS more than £800m each year. Clinical evidence has shown that up to 50% of people with COPD and other respiratory conditions can also be affected by depression and stress related medical conditions.
Evidence from academic studies shows that singing can benefit people with COPD and other respiratory conditions by working the diaphragmatic muscle and therefore helping to improve the lung function of patients. Singing communally also has social and psychological benefits.
Shoosmiths has been involved with S4B since 2018 and supported the charity in putting on the concert in April 2019 at the Cripps Hall Theatre, Northampton. A proposed second concert could not proceed due to the COVID lockdown restrictions.
S4B was founded by occupational therapist James Wyatt in 2015 as part of his final year of a degree in occupational therapy at the University of Northampton, assisted by Chris Startup. James is a ward manager at a local hospital for people who have mental health conditions, and he specialises in working with those patients who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Sharine Burgess, a partner at Shoosmiths specialising in serious injury and illness claims who has worked closely with Singing4Breathing said everyone involved was inspiring, and the new Recovery Group was an exciting addition to their core purpose.
Sharine said: “Managing breathlessness in addition to medication through these activities means the benefits this programme will deliver to people and communities across the region are not just physical, but also social and psychological.
“We support them in any way we can – they are doing a great job and are going from strength to strength.”
This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2022