Collier Row Alzheimer’s sufferer, Janet Hobson, 70, tuning into memory thanks to singing classes

Picture: (L-R) Janet Hobson with friend and carer Sarah Stanley

Picture: (L-R) Janet Hobson with friend and carer Sarah Stanley - Credit: Archant

An Alzheimer’s sufferer has been given a new lease of life after taking part in Singing for the Brain classes.

Janet Hobson, 70 from Collier Row has been attending the classes with her carer and friend Sarah Stanley, 37.

Sarah said: “We decided to go to the classes to try it out and now Janet loves it so much she would miss it if she didn’t go.

“When she is singing her eyes light up, it really boosts her spirits. She will talk about it all day. She has made so many new friends too.”

The pair started attending the classes after seeing them advertised at their local church.

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The classes were launched by Havering Council and Alzheimer’s Society to help people living with the condition, their carers and families.

Singing for the Brain uses singing to help stimulate the brain, help people to express themselves and also bring people together to socialise.

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As well as singing there is a lot of clapping, dancing and playing instruments and the instructor also brings in memorabilia books and albums containing photos of all the singers. The age range of people who attend the classes is wide as carers also take part.

Sarah said: “Even though Janet struggles to remember anything short-term, she can remember all the words to so many songs, some of them I’ve never even heard of.

“Janet usually knows all the words and who the singer is. She gets so much out of it. It’s like for one hour a week there is no dementia.

Deputy Leader of Havering Council, Councillor Steven Kelly, said: “We are really focussing on helping our older residents to socialise and keep their independence. Events like Singing for the Brain give people a routine and the chance to live normal and contented lives.”

For more information about Alzheimer’s Society services in Havering please call 01708 739293 or e-mail

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