News and dates to note
Members of the group have managed to get together a few times in a socially distanced way, with some music, but no singing or tea and buns! It's good to see each other - but this is not the time to bring a friend along! We all look forward to getting back to something like normal, but it still seems a way off. Our Christmas social may be less social than we'd like, and without the usual table of goodies, but we'll make the best of it ...
Under advice from Public Health England and the Methodist Church, meetings of the Project are still suspended. Keep in touch with Sarah!
18th – 24th May – Mental Health Awareness Week (from Sarah)
The theme this year is kindness. Never has there seemed a more appropriate theme. We’ve all seen such amazing acts of kindness during this very difficult and challenging time:- NHS and social care frontline workers, council workers and local people going above and beyond to show kindness, compassion and support. The value of kindness is unquantifiable; it can feel really rewarding to put ourselves out a little to help someone else, and receiving kindness from others is special. However in the current circumstances particularly we should also make sure we are being kind to ourselves.
There is much to challenge and test us at the moment, so it’s vital we look after our mental as well as our physical health. I encourage everyone to do one kind thing for yourself every day this week (and keep it going if you can!). This can be anything from having a nice relaxing bath, listening to favourite music for half an hour, going for a walk and being in nature, writing in a journal, reading, cooking a nice meal – please feel free to email me your suggestions and what helps you that we can share to hopefully help others! Another challenge alongside the theme of kindness is to do 30 minutes of movement each day. Or, if you are able to go out, taking a safe walk and enjoying the sun. The most important thing is to look after ourselves, body and mind, so we can help others too as best we can.
Message from Sarah, April 2020:
Band for Life members are coping as best they can, but it’s a challenge for everyone to deal with forced isolation. People are really valuing the support calls Sarah is making, keeping everyone in the loop about each other and making sure people know there is help available. With people spending a lot of time alone, it can be difficult not to watch the news too much or get drawn into the various theories and debates about how this situation has arisen; so one thing we are trying to do is to encourage people to limit the amount of news we watch and to do one nice thing for ourselves each day, as a way of trying to look after our mental health too, whilst we wash our hands and do all the things we need to protect our physical health.
Sat 25th April 2.15-3.45 we were due to perform at Canary Wharf Roof Garden (again) with a set of well-known rock, pop and jazz tunes. Like everything else, this is now cancelled.
Our Christmas meeting on 20th Dec 2019 welcomed about 40 visitors who joined in singing Carols and Christmas songs. Great fun!
Band for Life was saddened by the death of Harvey Freed.
Harvey and his wife Hilary had been members of Band for Life since Sarah began the group. Harvey was also a renowned member of the Zacchaeus Project bowling team at Bethnal Green church, and is much missed by all his friends across the projects and beyond.
WE were very happy to be playing again in the Crossrail Roof Garden, this time for the Late Bloom festival, August 2019, ending a summer of great free community arts events curated by The Space. We put together a programme of solo numbers and welcomed plenty of audience participation in our group numbers. It’s a great space to perform in. There was a great atmosphere and lots of support shown us.
One of the highlights is having to park our van down in depths of Canary Wharf, an area usually unseen by the passing shoppers, and negotiate the big loading bay lifts in our hi-vis jackets!
Saturday 8th June 2019, we were back at the Canary Wharf Roof Garden to play.
We are becoming a fixture!
To avoid a session on Good Friday, we held an open coffee and hot cross buns time on Maundy Thursday.
Farewell to Gerald, a friend and fellow musician.
MEMBERS of Band for Life headed to the City of London Crematorium for the funeral of Gerald, their friend and fellow musician. We were all touched to hear from his family during the service how much the Band for Life project meant to him. He suffered greatly in recent years with numerous physical health problems, but made enormous efforts to get to the sessions and we stayed in constant contact when he wasn’t well enough to attend. During one period of absence he spent his Fridays making a wooden name sign for the group, which we proudly display at every session and event.
Saturday 24th November 2018
Thanks for making our Christmas sale such a success.
On Saturday 25th August 2018 our musicians were back at Canary Wharf , to take part in the Late Bloom Arts Festival. We are becoming regulars!
Plans for the Band to play at Canary Wharf again for the Spring Bloom Festival were fulfilled.
Yes, we had a lunch-time slot on 2nd June (2018), performing in a very public, and very warm, arena
BAND FOR LIFE marked Mental Health Awareness week in May '18 by taking part in an event organised by the Inspire consortium (the local collective of community mental health organisations). The Band performed two 30 min sets during the afternoon. We got great feedback that everyone had enjoyed our music. Gerry made us a wonderful wooden sign.
Members, volunteers and carers from Band for Life visited the Royal Albert Hall for the Friendship Matinee, featuring symphonic rock by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
We had a Christmas social in West India Quay.
Everyone enjoyed a lovely meal, good company, and plenty of festive spirit!
The July, October and December Coffee Mornings in 2017 were well-supported and raised much needed funds for us. We were promoting good mental health and ways of improving our wellbeing by socialising, engaging in creative activities: - art and craft, listening to live music and singing. Thanks to all the participants, helpers and customers. We value your contribution to the Band
We performed at the Late Bloom Festival in the Crossrail Roof Garden at Canary Wharf. Members performed solo, and there were group numbers for people to join in! Watch a clip:
Peter played jazz on the keyboard. Sweet Caroline had everyone smiling and dancing along as they passed the stage in the Gardens
Canary Wharf Group Plc confirmed a generous donation to support Band for Life in working with the local community. Here's a big thank you to Canary Wharf Group Plc from everyone at Band for Life.