Thursday, 15 March 2018

New national alliance for Culture, Health and Wellbeing launches today!

London Arts in Health Forum is pleased to announce the launch of a new alliance of cultural organisations from across England which will develop and promote the role of arts and culture in supporting the country’s health and wellbeing.

Launching today in Birmingham, The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is a new national organisation for all who believe in the value of cultural engagement and participation for health and wellbeing. It will advocate for the work, provide training, resources and events, and develop understanding of how participating in cultural activities can help individual and community health and wellbeing.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Sing South African Songs - Mandela 100

Sing South African Songs MANDELA 100

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects
and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela

Join a Scratch Community Choir over Easter led by Janet Ayers
Learn songs from South Africa to sing as part of a performance at the
New Theatre Royal on Tuesday 17th
April 7.30pm as part of Mandela 100!
It’s FREE to join and you need to be available for all of the rehearsals plus time before the performance on the 17th April

Rehearsal venue: Fratton Community Centre
Trafalgar Place (Off Clive Rd), Portsmouth PO1 5JJ. Free car park
Dates: Wednesday 28th March 7-9pm Room 4
Wednesday 4th April 7-9pm Room 4
Wednesday 11th April 7-9pm Room 4
Saturday 14th April 10.30-12.30pm Room 1
Sunday 15th April Rehearsal Venue & time TBC
Tuesday 17th April NTR times tbc

What is a scratch choir?
It’s a group of people who come together to learn songs for one performance.
Who will I be singing with? 
You’ll be learning songs to join in a mass choir of local school children and singers
Do I need any previous experience? 
No, just the willingness to have a go! It will be challenging but above all very rewarding… This is serious fun!

These are free workshops but to express interest in taking part, please contact Janet Ayers direct on 02392 811802 or

To take part in this project you will need to agree to be filmed by Portsmouth University Students, as part of the educational element of the project and documentation. Some of the rehearsals may also be filmed. Bring water to drink and a notebook & pen.

Mandela 100 is organised by the African Women’s Forum (AWF) Portsmouth, who are celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth by revisiting the values enacted by the revolutionary political leader during his life and time as President of South Africa, through their ‘Mandela 100’ project and programme of events.

Creative Minds Kings Theatre

Really excited to be involved with the Creative Minds project at the Kings theatre starting in April.
A chance to use some of my other skills and background in theatre, visual arts as well as music.
Here is the blurb from the Kings Theatre website.

Creative Minds

Six Months of Free workshops here at The Kings Theatre with Janet Ayers every Tuesday morning.  Join our new group which focuses on the many ways to tell and share stories through music, art and drama.
We are also delivering free workshops to local day centres, community centres, libraries and care homes. If your organisation is interested in a free Creative minds workshop please give Rachel a call on 023 92 852218. To read more about our creative minds launch
Wednesday 4th April
This is a celebration day to start our “Creative Minds” project.
10am-10.30 Opening talk by Remind, Sarita Chavda and the Dementia Action Alliance, DDA in Number 28
Meeting up by local organisation and a cuppa before the film.
10.30 -11.45 “Singalong a Wizard of Oz” Film Fun for Everyone!
12pm -1pm Buffet Break in No 28
1-2pm Theatre Innovation group
2-3pm Janet Ayers “Creative Minds” Project
3-4pm become a Dementia Friend with the Alzheimer’s Society

Friday, 9 March 2018

International Women's Day 2018 Portsmouth

International Women's Day 2018 Portsmouth

This year is the first time in a long time since we've had a week of activities for IWD, and this year was organised by various groups from across the city. The photo is from the Monday night dinner hosted by Pompey In the Community, at Fratton Park. Over 100 women from all over Portsmouth representing the rich diversity we have in Portsmouth came along, all active in community groups across the city.
The evening started with speakers, then progressed to curry (from the Akash on Albert Road), comedy, games, raffle and dancing... I led some folk dancing and circle dancing to conclude the evening. It was a wonderful evening with lots of talking and laughter.

I've been running community singing in Portsmouth for just over 12 years and it was nice to see some old friends at the event who were instrumental in my development as a choir leader, but also making new friends too. Personally, for me, this week has made me contemplate my beginnings, not really knowing what I was doing setting up a community choir as there wasn't one in Portsmouth, but knowing I had to do it, as I knew what great fun it was. Now there are lots of community focused singing and music groups, promoting good physical & mental health.

So, now I'm following my feet and community dance is definitely a new arena for me that I'm exploring. Dance is such a great way to mix people, to exercise, learn something new and have fun. Also, just like singing in harmony, it has this magic way of making deep connections within the individual, connecting our past and present, and reaching out to the group. It's about affirming the hear and now and creating better futures.

Since the event and my 'mini' singing workshop at the Cross Cultural Women's group at Friendship on the Wednesday, I've been invited to various women's groups in Portsmouth the lead some folk & circle dance, which I'm really looking forward to. A new chapter in Community arts in Portsmouth!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Singing in Petersfield - Pam Robson's monthly singing group

A very nice write up with photos about the monthly community singing group I run in Petersfield with support from Clive Robson and Dementia Friends Petersfield. We have a jolly good sing and a laugh on a Thursday afternoon.

New Year Health & Wellbeing Day 10th Feb 9.30-5pm at The Point, Eastleigh

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Six week singing for Lung Health - Portsmouth

I'm pleased to say I'm running a six week pilot scheme for Sing for Lung Health at Buckland Community Centre on Friday mornings, 10.30am from 3rd of November. It's being supported by Breathe Easy Portsmouth and is open to anyone who has lung disease and would like to learn new skills to support your breathing, give you confidence and above all have fun.
Here is the link to the About My Area article. Photo from 'Sing for Your Lungs' at the Whittington Hospital, London.