2014 archive

October 2014: SingAbout on TV!

The Brilliant Britain TV show featured the Isle of Wight in its first episode on the Community Channel in October 2014. They visited Independent Arts' Newport SingAbout group as an example of a worthy project that's been part-funded by the Big Lottery. Take a look at SingAbout in action!

(Clicking the arrow on the embedded screen below will take you straight to the six-minute segment on SingAbout.)

October 2014: SingAbout: Singing For Breathing project launched

Independent Arts is delighted to be working in partnership with the Respiratory Team at St Mary’s Hospital, Breatheasy and Healing Arts to deliver SingAbout: Singing for Breathing.

Funded by My Life A Full Life until June 2015, the project provides weekly singing sessions tailored specifically for those suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and other respiratory conditions.

SingAbout: Singing for Breathing is based on a recognised form of therapy specifically developed for individuals with a respiratory condition.

Extensive research has been carried out in this area, with flagship projects being delivered at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London. Our singing leader for this project is Sandy Kealty, who is a Natural Voice Practitioner and delivers our Ryde and Newport SingAbout groups.

Sandy visited Brompton Hospital to see their work in action.

Unlike our other SingAbout groups, participants are referred on to this project by their GP or the Respiratory Team. Another big difference to our other SingAbout groups is that this project is delivered as a rolling programme.

This means participants only attend for 12 weeks, with a clear start and end date for each participant. The project aims to improve the quality of life, health and wellbeing for those who have been diagnosed with a respiratory condition, as well as increasing participants’ confidence to self-manage their condition and develop independence.

The project is also being funded to produce a DVD of a session, showing Sandy leading a group and demonstrating the various breathing exercises. The DVD will then be available to those who have been diagnosed with a respiratory condition but are unable to attend the weekly groups, or would prefer to undertake the activity at home.

Once participants have completed the 12-week programme, they can be referred on to another SingAbout group local to them, or use the DVD at home to continue their singing for breathing activity.

Sessions take place weekly at the Respiratory Gym at St Mary’s Hospital, and run from October 2014 until June 2015.

More about this exciting new Singing For Breathing group in this piece on On The Wight.

March 2014: Happy 3rd birthday SingAbout!

SingAboutWe're delighted to be celebrating the third birthday of SingAbout, our singing for wellbeing project. The first group started in Freshwater on 12 March 2011, followed by Newport and Ryde later the same year, and Ventnor in 2012. All four groups are flourishing.

Thanks to the participants, practitioners, volunteers, funders and everyone who has made SingAbout such a success.

Find out more about SingAbout.

You can help support this valuable project by making a donation.

Pic by Keila Potticary


February 2014: Trustee Wendy Varley writes for Welldoing.org about what to look for in residential homes

Following the new guidance from NICE (see below) about improving the mental health of older people in residential care, Independent Arts trusteee Wendy Varley has written for the health website Welldoing.org about what to look for if you have an elderly relative in a home. You can read her piece here.

January 2014: Eleven Hours Campaign

Independent Arts Christmas tree

Our fundraising campaign for 2014 is Eleven Hours. Why? Because it is estimated that after sleeping, eating, washing and dressing, elderly people living alone and in care homes have approximately eleven hours in the day left to fill.

For many, this time passes very slowly and can feel endless, lonely and boring.

Through our work in care homes and the community, we aim to help people spend this time in meaningful and enjoyable creative activity.

Please support Independent Arts' 2014 Eleven Hours campaign to ensure that no older person has to spend their last days with only the ticking of a clock for company.


Binstead Art Group

Binstead Art Group meets every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm at Binstead Church Hall, Chapel Road, Binstead PO33 3RT. If you would like to join, please contact us on 01983 822 437. You can attend on an ad hoc basis.

Here are examples of art produced in the sessions.


Our supporters in 2014 included:

  • Lloyds Foundation Community Fund (Core funding)
  • Allen Lane Foundation (SingAbout)
  • PJK Charitable Trust (SingAbout)
  • The Derrill Allatt Foundation (SingAbout)
  • The Sir Cliff Richard Charitable Trust (SingAbout)
  • The High Sheriffs' Trust (SingAbout)
  • The Sir Jules Thorn Trust (SingAbout)
  • BAE Cowes Employees (SingAbout)
  • Green Hall Foundation (SingAbout)
  • The Bulldog Trust (InTouch iPads for older people research project)
  • My Life A Full Life (SingAbout: Singing For Breathing)
  • IW Council Adult Learning Grant (DanceMakers)
  • HIWCF (DanceMakers)
  • IW Community Action Awards
  • Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival