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George Mackenzie House, September 2018

On a sunny afternoon in late September, a small group of volunteers made the short journey to George Mackenzie House, a secure psychiatric ward on the outskirts of Cambridge. After some time spent chatting to the residents, we began the visit with a group warm-up led by one of the volunteers, singing some rounds and playing a number of clapping games. We then began to learn songs together on the theme of water, including 'By the Rivers of Babylon', 'The Storm of Passing Over', 'Ol' Man River' and 'I Went Down to the River to Pray'. This was my first Sing Inside visit, and I was really overwhelmed by the feeling of team-spirit and harmony that learning these songs together fostered. After a break where we were all able to chat more over a cup of tea, we gave an informal performance of the songs we had learnt. It was a really amazing day of music and meeting new people, and I was struck by how much of a connection singing together had forged between us all. I hope to be able to visit again soon!

Ben Thurlow


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