Northampton class for people with lung damage gives community reason to sing again

Peter Leeds.
Peter Leeds.

A singing group in Northampton is helping people with respiratory problems breath a new lease of life.

Singing 4 Breathing was set up by former University of Northampton student and occupational therapist, James Wyatt to help people diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) increase their lung capacity through song.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

Peter Leeds, 69, sings solo at the group and joined two-and-a-half-years-ago after he found that he was struggling to breath when he was tying his shoelaces.

He has been diagnosed with COPD for four years.

He said: "When I was diagnosed it was because I was feeling short of breath. When I was out walking, it was up hills and gradients and when I was tying shoelaces up.

"But it was classed at the time as moderate. In COPD terms I’m quite lucky, whereas we have guys here who are a lot worse.

Chris leads the group with a host of breathing exercises and harmony works.

Chris leads the group with a host of breathing exercises and harmony works.

“One of our ladies has had a double lung transplant and she’s out there singing and you would not know."

Peter meets every Wednesday at Parklands Community Centre with 50 singers to practice harmony work and breathing exercises.

This helps the members to individually sing and speak for longer periods of time, which improves their lung function.

People who suffer from COPD are often affected by breathlessness and long-term lung damage.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

He added that this group makes him feel better in lots of different aspects of his life.

"I feel good on two levels, physical wellbeing and the other thing is mental wellbeing.

”You feel that you have achieved because you’re helping yourself sing and doing things that you perhaps haven’t done before.

"The other factor is belonging. It’s like a little community - but it’s a community that we want to grow with people with respiratory problems. Come in and join us, and enjoy it. "

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

The group is held on Monday's at the Castle Theatre in Wellingborough between 1-2pm, on Wednesdays at the Corby Cube between 10:30-11:30am and on Wednesdays at Parklands Community Centre in Northampton between 1-2pm.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.