Ability Links NSW is always looking for opportunities to organise activities that bring people together, tackling social isolation and celebrating diversity and inclusion. A great example of this is the Daytime Singing Group based in Cooma, NSW who have just had their first opportunity to showcase what they love doing.
After a community conversation in late 2017, participants bonded over their love of music, and expressed interest in getting together to form a singing group. Facilitated by Linker Tracy Crompton, the Daytime Singing Group was created. The group rehearse weekly at the Multicultural Centre in Cooma under the guidance of their very talented singing teacher, Lucy Fisher.
Recently, they were given an exciting opportunity to perform at the Festival of Ability that celebrated International Day of People with Disability in Cooma. There was a feeling of both enthusiasm and nervousness in the air as the group began rehearsing the seven songs they’d decided to perform during the Festival.
In the months leading up to the event, their commitment and dedication to the task was rock solid; they practiced enthusiastically and arrived on the day, song sheets in hand, butterflies in their stomachs, but ready to rock. They performed some old favourites like ‘Waterloo’ by ABBA, ‘When will I be loved’, by Linda Ronstadt and closed their set by throwing streamers into the crowd as they sang the very uplifting ‘Walking on Sunshine’ by Katrina & the Waves.
The group were thrilled with the crowd’s involvement as they sang and danced along to all the classic hits. They relished their debut live performance and look forward to more opportunities on the horizon in 2019.
One member of the singing group said, "Before being referred to SSI Ability Links, I was alone and knew no one in the area. I was fairly isolated and didn't do much, but Ability Links opened up opportunities for me. I joined the Daytime Singing Group and have met other people that have helped me to feel part of a group”.
“I have developed my singing skills and learnt new songs; I never thought I would ever perform on a stage, but I did! After the show, I couldn't believe it when people came up to me to tell me how good they thought we were”.
“As I feel better with myself, my confidence has lifted and other opportunities have opened up; I feel really happy. I feel like I have a 'place' now and it's great! It's so nice to feel like I belong".