SINGING is good for your health.

Clare Leach, founder of Harwich Sing, says the benefits of belting out a ballad come from getting more oxygen into the blood, to increasing the flow of feel-good hormones and improving mental health.

Since starting the choir six years ago, it has grown to have 150 members. There are children, teenagers, and adults attending choir classes and performing at events.

Clare said: “Even though the choirs practise separately, we do come together to perform and from time to time the kids, teenage and adults sing together too - how wonderful that a group of people from all ages can perform as one and relate to each other through the beauty of music.

“We have whole families singing together, grandchildren singing with their grandparents, friends and colleagues warbling side by side and through the group.”

Clare now shares the benefits of singing with residents in care homes.

She added: “It honestly is my honour and so much fun to visit the residents from Limecourt, Alexandra House, Dovercourt House and Woodland View regularly.

“Singing really is incredible, it awakens the soul and to see people with even severe dementia finding the words to old songs or tapping their foot or hand or clapping along really is an incredible sight to see. I am very privileged to witness this.

“Acorn Village is another fabulous place I am lucky enough to visit weekly.

“Acorn Village supports those with learning difficulties and is an inspirational place that’s for sure with some amazing characters.

“We have built up quite a selection of songs to have fun with and I have met some amazing people both residents and those that support them.

“You can’t help but feel uplifted after a music session at Acorn Village.”

Clare’s vision when she started Harwich Sing was to bring people together as a community through music and she wants to try to reach out to everyone.

She said: “I see the joy it brings to people that have joined my choirs or the audiences that come and watch us perform but it’s important that I go to the people that are not in a position to come to me, for example the elderly in care homes or adults with learning difficulties.

“Harwich Sing is really good on so many levels.

“It boosts confidence, is very social, can be very amusing, full of enjoyment and brings people together to share their love of music.

“But singing in a choir is more than just a bit of fun.

“It’s been scientifically proven that it is good for your health.

“Certainly, a number of members have said at times Harwich Sing has been a lifeline for them when going through stressful and emotional times in their lives.”

Currently, Harwich Sing is open for singers aged four up.

But Clare has plans to extend her choir sessions further.

She added: “There are two kids’ classes in Harwich, one teenage class in Harwich and three adult classes, two in Harwich and one in Little Clacton.

“But it’s exciting times for Harwich Sing as in January we will be launching another kids choir in Little Clacton.

“I will be starting a new ‘Sing a Long to Golden Oldies’ session once a month in Harwich for those that literally want a trip down memory lane no performing involved.

“In February the much-anticipated Harwich Sing Tots will be starting in Harwich too. I can’t wait!”

For more information about Harwich Sing, call Clare on 07554 423613 or find Harwich Sing on Facebook.