DAVID BIDWELL: Music and fun for those with disabilities

David's love for muisc came after he heard someone else playing keyboards
David's love for muisc came after he heard someone else playing keyboards
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David is a 30-year-old with learning disabilities from Lee-on-the-Solent. Here he talks about Shared Lives, his community group Sing For Fun and his love of music.

Hello, my name is David Bidwell and I am 30 years old.

I live with my Shared Lives carers Phil and Sheila, and their two children Hannah and James.

Shared Lives is a Hampshire County Council scheme which support adults with learning disabilities or other health problems that make it difficult for those adults to live by themselves.

I joined Shared Lives four years ago and now Sheila and Phil are supporting me with my skills.

They treat me as if I’m family and I even go on holiday with them.

Sheila and Phil started a group called Sing For Fun for me and others like me with learning disabilities, so I could play my keyboard and sing without being judged.

The group meets at Lee-on-the-Solent. I love going because I can play some tunes.

We also have other musical instruments that we can play.

There’s also karaoke, and I like to sing Angels by Robbie Williams with my girlfriend who I met at the group.

It’s a busy group and not long ago we danced to Superman and The Birdie Song.

We drink hot chocolate and eat chocolate bars.

Not only is Phil a very good carer, but he is also a great leader for the group. He puts all the music on for us and listens to our requests.

My love for music came about after listening to my carer’s daughter playing her keyboard – then I had a play and really enjoyed listening to the sounds and melodies.

After this I went to keyboard lessons for two years. I now go drumming and I really enjoy that too.

I would like our Sing For Fun group to reach out to more people in the community, maybe people with physical disabilities and the elderly.

We are meeting twice a week at the moment and we chat as well as sing.

If you want to find out more about Sing For Fun or know someone who would like to go, call 07811 140188.