Tuesday 8 December 2015

Persimmon Homes Midlands Sales Manager Deborah Box and Sales Adviser Nicola Bond presenting a Community Champions cheque to Angela Prouse, James Wyatt and Chris Startup from Singing for Breathing at Parklands Community Centre

Singing for Breathing, a group set up byOccupational Therapy students at the University of Northampton to help people diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), have recently been awarded nearly £2,000 to fund future sessions.

The group was started by students Angela Prouse and James Wyatt – who are in the third year of the Occupational Therapy BSc degree programme – to explore the benefits of singing as a natural exercise for using the lungs. The Singing for Breathing group has stemmed from the students’ second year Level 5 skills assessment, and the group now meets every Wednesday at Parklands Community Centre. The sessions aim to provide users with a supportive network, and their choir helps to provide a sense of wellbeing.

Last week, the group was awarded a cheque for £1,000 from Persimmon Homes to help fund the choir. The group were also successful in winning a £972 grant from the University’s Chancellor’s Fund.

Wray Irwin, Head of the University Centre for Employability and Engagement at the University of Northampton, commented: “ We are delighted that the efforts of both Angela and James in creating Singing for Breathing are being recognised for the impact they are having in supporting individuals with COPD conditions. They have developed the choir by applying their learning in a new and innovative way; contributing to the University’s Changemaker Challenge of improving the health and wellbeing of Northamptonshire, whilst enhancing their studies and creating social impact.”

Persimmon Homes Midlands Sales Manager Deborah Box and Sales Adviser Nicola Bond presenting a Community Champions cheque to Angela Prouse, James Wyatt and Chris Startup from Singing for Breathing at Parklands Community Centre

Corinna Coleman, Scholarships Officer at the University, commented: “The members of the Chancellor’s Fund Panel were unanimous in their support of this amazing project and we’re delighted that they’ve received this additional funding from Persimmon.”

Claire Davidson, head of sales for Persimmon Homes Midlands, said: “As a company we are committed to supporting the small charities, clubs and organisations that operate near to our new homes developments. When ordinary people are giving up their time to improve their communities, they deserve our thanks and our backing.”

Designed for people with respiratory conditions, the free singing sessions are held at Parklands Community Centre every Wednesday between 1-2pm. Formal diagnosis is not required to attend, and all are welcome.​

Community groups, charities and good causes across the county have benefited thanks to the donations from Persimmon Homes. Organisations can apply for funding by completing a simple online form. The scheme invites local groups and charities to bid for cash from a £750,000 national fund, with two donations of up to £1,000 being made locally every month.

The Chancellor’s Fund is a bi-annual fund providing current students with awards of between £100 and £1,000.​ To find out more, please visit the Chancellor’s Fund page.

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