New funding for singing lessons to help sufferers of long Covid

A programme which uses singing lessons to help sufferers of long Covid with breathing and lung health has received new funding from St Andrews University.

St Andrews Voices has adapted the British Heart Foundation’s Singing for Lung Health workshops to support those recovering from Covid-19 across Fife, teaching key skills around breathing to help in the fight against long Covid.

The programme has been given a £3,000 donation from the St Andrews University community fund.

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Workshops will be provided by British Lung Foundation trained practitioners and delivered entirely online, focussing on the retraining of breathing through singing.

This is Home performed by St Andrews Voices Singing for Lung Health workshop

The initial programme will be 12 weeks long, with an evaluation process planned after its completion.

It comes amid increasing concern over long Covid, with a recent study showing that 70 per cent of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 had not fully recovered after five months.

St Andrews Voices Festival Director and Project Lead, Amanda MacLeod, said: “Our unique workshops will empower and better equip participants to deal with the breathlessness and anxiety associated with long Covid.

"The evidenced benefits of Singing for Lung Health and wellbeing not only include improved breathing control but also allow those suffering from long Covid a focussed wellbeing intervention that distracts from breathlessness and provides much needed social participation, reducing feelings of isolation that many have suffered during the pandemic.”

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St Andrews University Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone, said the possibilities of the project to help long Covid suffers extends beyond St Andrews and Fife.

“The University recognises that key to recovery and the very fabric of life in communities affected by the pandemic are the many small voluntary bodies that are responding to the needs of residents, with a will and bravery which must be commended,” she said.

"The University of St Andrews Community Fund was conceived before the Covid-19 crisis but quickly adapted to assist those who support the very fabric of our society at its most vulnerable time.

“While the St Andrews Voices project is small and local, the possibilities to help those suffering with long Covid are widespread and far-reaching beyond St Andrews.

"So little is known about long Covid that we must explore all avenues as we seek to come out of the pandemic and support those who may struggle in the months and years ahead.”

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