Stratford Press - 2021-06-09


All welcome to join in with Chirpy Fridays


Ilona Hanne

Agood old-fashioned singalong is on the agenda when members of Chirpy Fridays meet. The group, organised by Estelle Barnes of Age Concern Taranaki, regularly meet for a morning of great company, fellowship and plenty of music. Estelle says the group, which she describes as being “in its infancy still”, is focused on bringing people together. Isolation can sometimes be an issue for people as they get older she says. “So the idea of the group is to bring people out, get them socially active and give them the opportunity to form new friends.” The name Chirpy Fridays comes from the group’s focus on a singalong, complete with piano accompaniment. But there’s more the group than just singing, says Estelle. As well as exercising their vocal chords, members can also exercise their brains, with puzzles such as spot the difference given out for them to have a go on as well. “It’s a great icebreaker as people tend to work together on them, so it’s a way to get people talking at the start. Of course, it is important to keep the brain active as well, and doing the puzzles is good for your brain health.” Light refreshments are also on offer, says Estelle. “It’s all very friendly, lots of opportunity to meet people and have a chat as well as enjoying sharing a love of music. Lyrics to the songs are printed out so there is no excuse for not joining in, she says. “We have a great group going and wold love to welcome more people to join us.” Gloria Corkill says she has belonged to Age Concern for a few years so when she saw the group advertised she decided to “give it a go”. “I came on my own and didn’t know everyone here, but I did recognise a few faces straight away,” she says. “It’s a good little group, I enjoy the different things we do. “I’d encourage anyone thinking about joining to just give it a go, come along and try it out.” Marie Dye agrees, saying like Gloria she recognised a few people there when she arrived. “And everyone here is so easy to be with. I love the singing, it’s a nice way to spend a bit of time.”


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