Hyde resident's note-worthy reason for revelling in local choir

Date Released - 13/11/2018

A Tameside resident has found the symptoms from her serious lung condition have improved thanks to all the singing she does in a local choir.

Maureen Agar,79, was diagnosed with COPD several years ago and has been an active member of the Tameside Voices choir since before then.

She’ll be joining members of the choir and the Breathing Group at The Bureau in Glossop to sing at an event in Hyde Mall which is raising awareness for lung health.

The event, on Friday 16 November, is organised by the Hyde Neighbourhood Team and will also include health professionals offering advice to residents about their lung health.

Maureen also goes on regular walks round local reservoirs and she says both have helped since she found out she had the condition.

“It’s definitely made my symptoms improve and helped me to breathe better and hold my notes for longer. The choir also gets me out meeting new people.

“Since I’ve been a member of the choir, I’ve sung in places like Gorton Monastery and outside the Town Hall in Manchester.”

Singing can boost the health of the lungs by improving the airflow, it also has a positive impact on mental health especially when taking part in singing as a group activity.

Over 7,000 people in Tameside and Glossop have COPD and it’s estimated many more have the condition without knowing it.

Symptoms of COPD include increased breathlessness, a persistent cough that doesn’t seem to go away, frequent chest infections and wheezing.

This is the most common form of respiratory disease, and the occurrence rates in Tameside are one of the highest in the North West. Each year around 80 people in Tameside and Glossop die prematurely from respiratory conditions.

Aside from singing, lung health can be improved by stopping smoking, engaging in physical activity and walking.

There will also be two stalls promoting the importance of lung health at Tameside Hospital on 20th & 23rd November.

Cllr Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council, said: “COPD is a very serious condition which affects so many people in the borough. By promoting the importance of lung health we can encourage residents to see their GP so they can get the support they need.

“It’s great that those living with COPD and other lung conditions can get additional support by joining groups like the Tameside Voices choir.”

Individuals who want to assess their lung health should take this quick British Lung Foundation test (https://breathtest.blf.org.uk/) and contact their GP if they have any further questions.

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