Katherine has been singing all her life but never from music.
In 1982 she encountered Frankie Armstrong, an internationally famous folk singer who had ran workshops for people who wanted to sing but had been told they were “tone deaf” etc when they were children.
She found her radical approach inspiring and in 1987 when she took part in training. Since then she has had the privilege of Frankie running her training at Kinnersley castle, people have come from as far away as Australia and America to participate and she has been so fortunate to be surrounded by song.
Eventually it was apparent that with so many people training she needed to form an official organisation, so the Natural Voice Practitioners Network was founded (NVPN). Initially based at Kinnersley it soon outgrew what they could accommodate and has just outgrown its second home at Wortley Hall nr Sheffield. Their website www.NVPN.co.uk describes their philosophy, membership also ensures us for their work.
Although she ran one of the workshops in Devon, it was some time before she felt she could commit to the responsibility of running a regular singing group. Kinnersley singers started about 12 years ago, it is open to anyone and most of the original members are still there. They do the occasional performance but get more enjoyment from taking part in events like Sing for Water where mass choirs come together to raise money for Water Aid – they have taken part in London, Bristol and Cardiff and raised thousands of pounds for that and other charities. Their membership ranges from age 40 to 80+.
Every year the NVPN has a gathering where they have workshops etc. over the last ten years there has been a growing interest in Singing for the Brain in response to the increasing number of people developing Dementia/ Alzheimer’s and many of the group are working in this area which is gathering more and more interest and understanding. It affords an opportunity for sufferers to connect with parts of the brain which are not affected and also can allow a special opportunity for family members to share an experience when most other channels of communication are blocked. Another side effect of singing which is beginning to be understood is how it releases endorphins- the feel good factor. So often her choir members arrive tired from a days work but two hours later leave laughing and buzzing with energy.
Katherine has worked for Growing Point for over 11 years during which time she has worked in Age Concern centres, residential homes and at the Holme Lacy base where she has worked with all sorts of special needs from autistic to bind. The experience Katherine has gathered in her life makes her very well qualified for this important work.
“We can’t find enough words to thank you all for everything that you did for Dad. To say it is greatly appreciated is a massive understatement and we hope that you know that we appreciated every gesture.”—
“I wish to thank you for the superb level of care you provided to K---- during her time at Lynhales (some 11 years). As a former nurse, I’m sure she would have appreciated it. Whenever I have visited Lynhales—
Dear Sister Dora and all the staff. Please would you accept our thanks for all the care and attention you so warmly gave to my Mother in the last few months of her life whilst in your lovely Home and this is more.—
“We are very pleased with the care that Dad receives at Lynhales – we feel he could not be in a better place. We know he is well cared for and, above all, safe."—
"I would like to thank you all for your kindness and cheerfulness, and for looking after both my Mother and her visitors so well. It was really like a home from home."—
“I wish to thank you for the superb level of care you provided to K---- during her time at Lynhales (some 11 years). As a former nurse, I’m sure she would have appreciated it."—
"We wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you did to take care of Mum. She always looked lovely and seemed content in her world. We couldn't have asked for more. Please pass on our thanks to the team.”—
"... a big thank you to everyone to show how very grateful we are for the love and care shown to Dad in his last few years here at Lynhales. We could not be more grateful and pleased with how he was cared for."—
“I wanted you to know how much I appreciated the Support Group Meeting on Saturday. It was very well attended and I met a number of new family members, all of whom seemed to take a great deal from the experience.—
“Just a short note to thank you all for taking care of T---- with such kindness and compassion during his final weeks, and also for the welcome we always received when visiting.”—
“We appreciate all your care and the way you treat our father with such dignity and kindness. Please thank all of your staff.”—