Thursday 9th November 2017

Choir 'gives a little back' with $1000 donation

A special choir which helps people find their voices again has made a $1000 donation to a charity close to its heart. 

The Brainwave Singers has marked the recent Parkinson's Awareness Week (1-7 November) by donating $1000 to the Bay of Plenty Parkinson's Society. The choir uses singing to improve speech and communication in aphasia (stroke) sufferers and to delay neurological conditions like Parkinson's. 

"It's Parkinson's Awareness Week and the majority of our choir members are people with Parkinson's so it's close to the heart," said choir founder Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Speech and Language Therapist Robin Matthews. 

"The Parkinson's Society has supported us over the years so this is just giving a little something back," said Robin who launched the choir seven years ago. "The money has been raised from concerts and donations. We have donated to other charities before but this is the biggest." 

Robin said the choir was still going strong, with around 70 members, as it celebrated its 7th birthday. 

"The choir members are so committed to it and just love what they're doing, they get so much out of it. It's physiotherapy of the voice; singing as therapy," he added. 

President of the Bay of Plenty Parkinson's Society Christine Mercer thanked the choir for the generous donation, saying the money would go towards the important work carried out by the society's community educators. 

"The choir has made an incredible difference to people's ability to project their voice and to help prevent choking which are both issues with Parkinson's," said Christine. 

"Another element is the tremendous community aspect of the choir, being with like-minded people, so understanding each other if you're having an off day for example. It's so important to so many people." 

Choir Members

From left (with choir members in background): Parkinson's Society Community Educator Glennis Best, Bay of Plenty Parkinson's Society President Christine Mercer, Brainwave Singers choir member Helen Hough, Brainwave Singers founder and BOPDHB Speech and Language Therapist Robin Matthews. 

For more information:

James Fuller
Communications Advisor
Bay of Plenty District Health Board
027 839 1791

Last updated: August 29, 2018