DAVID BIDWELL: We all liked making a fuss of Ruby

David Bidwell at his Sing for Fun group
David Bidwell at his Sing for Fun group
Wickham Festival 2017. Picture: Millie Salkeld

Wickham Festival gets off to delayed start amid muddy conditions

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WE HAD a lovely visit from a dog called Ruby.

She is a nice dog as she is good with people because her owner has trained her as a therapy dog.

David Bidwell and therapy dog Ruby

David Bidwell and therapy dog Ruby

She is very calm and good with children and adults.

She came round to all of us at the group so we could say hello and make a fuss of her.

My friend was upset because she was scared of the dog so her carer tried to console her.

The music was on while singing and playing the instruments still continued and Ruby was still there but she didn’t mind at all.

Even if you had a fear of dogs after seeing Ruby it really helped.

We have another volunteer helping on a Friday.

I have heard she makes delicious cakes so it would be nice to taste some of those soon.

The users that come on a Friday afternoon come from the local day services and on Thursdays they chat about what their favourite songs are and what they would like to sing.

My carers usually go round the week before and ask for requests so that when we all arrive we can start singing.

My carer brings all the equipment along every week and sets it up.

He uses a projector now which really helps as it works well against the top of the wall so we can all see the words to our chosen songs.

We also use wireless mics and PCs with mobile internet to access the songs so we can find the songs we like.

Funding for the equipment is a major cost for the group.

We always look forward to Thursday evening, often trying to remember a song we want to sing at the group for that week, but there are always the usual favourites.

Mine are Angels by Robbie Williams and Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears.

My favourite over Christmas was Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.

My carer’s favourites were Mary’s Boy Child and Just Another Winter’s Tale.

David Bidwell is a 30-year-old from Lee-on-the-Solent with learning disabilities who help found a Sing for Fun club.