Playing for Cake aims to deliver high quality, interactive, group community-based singing and music-making opportunities for all ages and abilities in line with our ‘charitable object’:

For the public benefit to advance health and relieve sickness of people of all ages and abilities primarily in (but not limited to) North Norfolk, by providing community singing, music-making and creative activities that promote proven mental, physical and social health and wellbeing benefits and, by extension, provide support for family, friends and carers, including through the provision of online resources.

In fulfilment of its charitable object, Playing for Cake provides public benefit by:

  • Promoting better health and wellbeing for people of all ages and abilities to assist in the healing of mind, body and spirit.
  • Helping people with a range of physical, mental, emotional and social health conditions to alleviate symptoms and better manage a specific condition and/or general health and wellbeing.
  • Assisting the recovery of people who are sick, convalescent, disabled or infirm and providing support and comfort to them and/or their carers.
  • Facilitating social interaction and helping people to gain confidence, through improved peer-support networks, to participate more fully in society.
  • Contributing to the vibrancy, sustainability and quality of life of our local communities through improved health and wellbeing and increased social and cultural opportunities.
  • Advancing the collective knowledge and understanding of the benefits of participation in creative activities to health and wellbeing, specifically, but not exclusively, people living with Parkinson’s, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, lung disease or stroke survivors and their carers.

Playing for Cake achieves these benefits by:

  • Providing fun, interactive and participatory community-based singing, music-making and other creative opportunities for all ages and abilities in accessible locations.
  • Encouraging participants to increase physical activity using the voice, movement, percussion and/or props as appropriate using established Singing for Health techniques.
  • Injecting targeted exercises/techniques into activities as appropriate to help people improve or manage specific health conditions.
  • Working with health care professionals and community group leaders to design tailored creative activities that can help with specific health needs or goals.
  • Providing supported volunteering opportunities relating to all aspects of running the organisation as well as for delivering sessions.
  • Supporting participants to take ownership of their group by contributing to the organisation of sessions, for example by undertaking small local acts of fundraising (such as organising a raffle), organising refreshments, helping to count donations, meeting, greeting and welcoming (especially new) people.
  • Fundraising to keep activities affordable for participants (wherever possible pay what you can) whilst being able to pay experienced and qualified Singing for Health practitioners at the appropriate level, reimbursing volunteer expenses and operating as a going concern.
  • Building and developing links with relevant local, regional and national organisations and partnerships including within Norfolk & Waveney’s Integrated Care System (ICS), the national Creative Health agenda and the North Norfolk Healthy Ageing Project, by attending meetings, networking and sharing experiences, participant feedback and evaluations of our activities.
  • Providing online sessions (as capacity allows) and/or resource materials for the benefit of the wider public.

Playing for Cake’s activities fall into 5 main categories:

  1. Singing for Breathing
    These sessions are suitable for people with diagnosed lung conditions or otherwise. All songs are tailored around breathing exercises to help strengthen support muscles and build better breathing habits using established, national Singing for Lung Health techniques. The sessions are affiliated to A+L UK and local respiratory/pulmonary rehabilitation teams and aim to help people:
    – Learn techniques to help breathlessness
    – Adopt better breathing habits for everyday life
    – Improve general health and wellbeing
    – Increase physical activity
    – Build confidence
    – Enjoy singing with others
    – Reduce social isolation and loneliness
    – Reduce anxiety, stress and depression
    – Build new friendships and peer-support networks
    – Feel motivated to go on to join other community physical/social activities.
  2. Singing for Health, Wellbeing & Fun!
    These sessions use a variety of song styles and genres to maximise engagement and enjoyment. They aim to encourage participants to increase physical activity using the voice, movement, percussion and/or props and are open to all ages and abilities. The aims of these sessions include helping participants build confidence, increase social interactions and form new friendships thus reducing loneliness and social isolation and increasing peer-support networks. Singing for Health, Wellbeing and Fun groups are held in local communities, allowing people with specific health conditions to meet up with others from the wider local community. The sessions encourage everyone to come together for the joy of singing and music-making.
  3. Tailored Sessions for Health Groups
    We work with health professionals and other agencies, as necessary, to deliver targeted group sessions for people living with specific health conditions and their carers. Examples of other organisations we work with include local dementia support groups, women’s support groups, Parkinson’s UK, The Alzheimer’s Society and A+L UK.
  4. Community Engagement
    We occasionally deliver activities at local carnivals, festivals and events (where funds and capacity allow!). This helps us reach out to the wider public who may not be aware of our services, the benefits they bring and how people can improve their qualities of life through engagement with singing and music-making.
  5. Online Resources
    We provide links to information about the benefits of singing for particular health conditions including research, literature, evidence of people’s own experiences and participant feedback from our own sessions. There are also links to health support groups, other local singing and music-making groups, and online videos so people can practice at home. This, and delivery of online sessions to people who are unable to attend our face-to-face sessions, is an area of work we hope to develop. See our dedicated pages to help people living with Parkinson’s, dementia, breathing difficulties and/or stroke survivors for more information).