The Smiling Sessions are run by a charity who usually go into care homes or community centres for the elderly each week and host sing-a-longs for the residents or members. Throughout lockdown they had celebrities dropping in to participate virtually and now Smiling Sessions are back for a second season. Merrill Osmond, Natasha Hamilton, Squeeze’s Chris Difford and Marisha Wallace join the stars to record a Smiling Session this Autumn.
Merrill, Natasha, Chris and Marisha are following in the footsteps of Brian Mcfadden, KT Tunstall, Daniel O’Donnell and Basil Brush who is returning by popular demand for a second session as a Christmas special.
Shapeshifter Artistic Director Alison Jones commented: “With the effects of Covid-19 still very much with us, it’s more important than ever to reach out to everyone who may still be isolated; to support their wellbeing and mental health. So, we’re delighted that we’ve been able to launch the second series of our remote Smiling Sessions.
“Music and singing have always been a great means of raising spirits and keeping people of all ages healthy. Now more and more research is showing the power of music to heal the brain, the imagination and the heart. “Without regular human contact or stimulating, life-affirming events to enjoy, many people are still confined and feeling even more lonely and disconnected. “It’s been wonderful to see our Sessions reaching and helping so many people during these difficult times.”
TV Psychologist and Mental Health Expert, Dr Arthur Cassidy, and one of the special guest performers for Series Two of the Smiling Remotely Sessions, commented: “I cannot highlight the profound significance of The Smiling Sessions’ initiative in its attempt to significantly improve the overall psychological health and well-being of residents in care homes.
“The Smiling Projects’ contribution will undoubtedly enrich the brain processing speed of all residents and will potentially influence, in a positive way, their mood regulation state and both episodic and semantic memory. The array of genres and songs together with the colourful visual effects and rich tones will facilitate happy memories of events in their entire life span and add meaning to the quality of their everyday lives.”