Partnership case study: ‘Music group’ by One Vision Housing

The music group is for people who have been left with communication difficulties following a stroke, to help them, their carers, family and friends. The music and singing sessions are designed to increase the rate of rehabilitation amongst stroke survivors, improving quality of life, and encouraging people to express their feelings and engage socially.

Our challenge

Every year 110,000 people have a stroke. Since risk increases with age, the likelihood is that a number of our tenants will be affected by a stroke in some way, particularly as Sefton has a high proportion of older people.

Working with the Stroke Association we support people who have communication difficulties as a result of a stroke along with their family, friends and carers. We offer a way for stroke survivors to integrate in the local community, reducing social isolation and bringing improvements in mental health and wellbeing. This is alongside the potential improvements in communication and speech brought about through the music therapy.

Our solution                                    

Using one of our independent living schemes as a base, the music group runs every fortnight. Being held in a non-clinical setting eliminates the feeling of being ill for the participants and enhances the effects of socialisation and involvement in the community. It also offers volunteering opportunities for other tenants.

Music therapy has been proven to increase the rate of rehabilitation in areas such as movement and muscle control, speech and communication, cognition, mood and motivation. Research has also shown a significant improvement in quality of life, expression of feelings, awareness and responsiveness, in addition to reduction in depression and anxiety and improvement of mood.

Our impact

Currently 15 people attend each session and have reported improved moods and overall mental wellbeing. Using the HACT toolkit, a social value of £21,874 has been calculated for regular attendance at a social club. This is in addition to the social value of £8,366 calculated for 4 regular volunteers supporting the group.

We are planning to do 6 monthly evaluations using the Communications Outcomes after Stroke (COAST) scale. Since the initiative is in its early stages, we have not been able to do so yet. In the future, will give an indication of how well participants can communicate one to one, in a group, what their confidence levels are like, and the effect of communication difficulties on family life and overall wellbeing.

Our partners           

This initiative is being delivered in partnership with the South Sefton Stroke Association to help improve the lives of those affected by stroke. The partnership opens up access to other services offered by the Stroke Association and access to support that people may previously not been aware of.

Our role

Talking to our housing officers we identified that a number of our tenants have had a stroke or are caring for a family member who has. The Stroke Association also confirmed that a number of their service users were One Vision tenants. We felt that one of our independent living schemes would be ideally located to hold a music group which could link current service users and also open up the group to other tenants.

The location of the group has encouraged other tenants to volunteer and play musical instruments at the sessions, so that they now support a wider range of our tenants by reducing social isolation for those who volunteer.

Our contribution to improving health

We believe the project addresses the following health indicators:

  • NHS outcome 3.4: improving recovery from stroke
  • NHS outcome 2.4: enhancing quality of life for carers

This project specifically targets stroke survivors and their carers to offer support and assistance in gaining support with all aspects of life after a stroke. The group encourages social inclusion and participants report feeling part of the community.

The group aims to improve communication through use of music and song whilst creating a safe network of support where people can feel valued and free from the restrictions they can feel due to the lasting damage caused by the stroke.

Thanks to our partnership with the Stroke Association, participants gain access to support and the most relevant services to help them recover and reduce dependence on high level care.