Building on the research evidence supporting the potential benefit for participation in a choir for people living with aphasia, a number of groups around Melbourne have been brought together with the hope of establishing a choir based in the local government area of Maroondah. Partnering groups cover the spectrum of stroke support services, consisting of:
- Disability Support: Yooralla
- Peer Support: Croydon Stroke Support Group
- Local Government: The City of Maroondah
A start-up committee has been established and identified both the need and the opportunity to establish a group that can play an ongoing role in the lives of people and their families within the local community. Members of the Croydon Stroke Support Group who themselves are stroke survivors, provided the impetus for this group after anecdotal reports from some members of the benefits of listening to music or singing. Key Community Access staff from Yooralla and Maroondah Council were then involved to assist in establishing logistics for the group, with in particular Council support to identify a suitable venue. Given the innovative nature of the proposed group, researchers with expertise in evaluating the impact of interventions to assist in the recovery from neurological conditions were invited to assist in determining the most suitable approach to evaluate the benefits for participants, something that is made more difficult by communication difficulties associated with aphasia. To support sustainability, Jack Mulholland from Maroondah Council will with assistance from the Council’s Economic Development department will look to use the project findings to hopefully establish recurrent funding for the choir through well established Community – Business partnerships.