Hospitals’ arts team awarded over £70,000 to help young patients tackle loneliness with song

Young patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals are set to benefit from an innovative new project, after the hospitals’ arts team was awarded more than £70,000.

Young people aged 13 to 25 will be offered face-to-face singing workshops while they are in hospital and, for the very first time, Royal Brompton exterior have access to a brand new online ‘singing portal’ so they can continue to reap the benefits of singing when they return home.

As people with CF are told to avoid close contact with other people who have the condition due to the risk of cross-infection, Sing for CF will allow them to join virtual singing workshops – enabling those who would not be able to sing together in real life, to do so online for the first time. rb&hArts, the hospitals’ arts team, has been awarded £78,707 towards the project from a fund tackling youth loneliness.

Experts believe there may be physical benefits from singing for people with cystic fibrosis – it encompasses breath control and vocal exercises, which are included within conventional physiotherapy regimes.

Rb&hArts will recruit five young ambassadors with CF to have training in leadership skills and play a key role in jointly creating the project with staff.

Patient experience project manager, and arts lead at rb&hArts, Karen Taylor, said:

“Singing in groups is an effective way to support people and promote their social, physical and mental wellbeing. We know that young people with chronic health conditions experience frequent and long hospital admissions. Isolated from friends, family and their community, they are more likely to experience periods of loneliness.

“Having young people leading the project will also help us develop more effective
youth-centred creative services: they will also create and run a conference, ensuring the findings from Sing for CF are widely shared with others seeking innovative approaches to reducing loneliness in young people."

Funding has been awarded from the £2million Youth strand of the Building Connections Fund, a partnership between government and the Co-op Foundation.

Find out more from rb&hArts