UK: Arts Partnership Surrey

Unlike the Surrey Place Centre the UK component to this chapter doesn’t function as a specific centre; rather it was a collective looking to explore the ways in which individuals experience singing groups in the South East of England and if there might be any benefit for governments to consider the possibility of understanding singing groups in the context of health and well-being benefits. Arts Partnership Surrey (APS) includes Guildford Borough Council, Mole Valley District Council, Runnymede Borough Council, Spelthorne Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Tandridge Leisure Limited, Waverley Borough Council and Woking Borough Council. APS aimed to build a sustainable creative project that offers the opportunity of referring community members who may benefit from being part of a singing group project with the aim of improving the individual’s health and well-being. For the Singing Surrey project each local authority participating in the project identified an appropriate community group who would benefit from the development of a new singing group. This chapter reports on observations, interviews and focus groups with a range of individuals participating in six singing groups across Surrey (South East England), resulting in around 120 individuals being observed, and approximately 60 directly involved in focus groups and/or interviews. None of the singing groups were set up with a specific focus on health, mental health or well-being; however, it was clear from the data collection many of those involved had, or were currently, experiencing distress.

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