A DAYCARE centre in Ludlow for adults with learning disabilities is celebrating one year of its Singing in the Seasons programme, which launched last year with help from Tesco's Bags of Help scheme.

Helena Lane Day Care Centre was awarded £4,000 through the supermarket's Bags of Help initiative in June 2017 and has used the funding to begin a seasonally-themed musical programme as a way for service-users at the centre to come together and socialise. The centre has been providing care to older people and adults with learning disabilities for over 25 years.

Local singing practitioner Sally Tong has now run 20 seasonal group singing sessions over the past year, with up to 40 people in each group.

Sally says: "People have clearly been enjoying the sessions and they're becoming more and comfortable in expressing themselves and their personalities. We've tried our best to listen to what those taking part want to do and to work around their preferences."

The funding from Tesco meant the centre could purchase a large tent as well as seating, enabling the group to sing outside and funds also went towards buffets and tea parties for special occasions, where friends and family were able to join in.

David Key, service manager at Helena Lane, comments: "The programme has proved hugely popular with visitors to the centre and has been extremely beneficial in so many ways. For people with learning difficulties, the programme was a great way for them to learn transferable skills for work and for those with dementia, it is a fantastic help for memory.

"Many of our visitors experience feelings of severe loneliness so activities where they can meet other people have a huge impact on their physical and mental wellbeing."

Keith Jackson, Tesco's Bags of help manager, says: "It's wonderful to see the impact funding has made on this project, showing first-hand how a Bags of Help grant can have a positive effect on local communities. Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has provided more than £56 million to over 16,000 local community projects."