Blog post

Happy drummers in Lambeth

ladies singing and dancingOlder people in Lambeth are feeling happier thanks to some lively drumming.

Happy Drums, a community drumming class, has been funded by a grant from The Health and Wellbeing Fund to run workshops for older people in Vassall and Coldharbour wards of Lambeth.

Participants have provided positive feedback about the drumming sessions organised by Anthony Bailey.

Ruby Powell

Ruby, from Brixton, said: “It made me feel refreshed and lively, as we aren’t just sitting playing dominos.”

Ruby has attended Stockwell Good Neighbours for six years and has a good group of friends there, which also had a project funded by The Health and Wellbeing Fund.

Ruby recognised that: “If I didn’t come here I would just be sat at home eating and getting sick – God bless this place.”

The Health and Wellbeing Fund awarded 13 local individuals and community groups with funding to work together to improve health and wellbeing in older people and reduce isolation in the community as a whole in the wards, two of the most deprived in the borough.

These projects have attempted to support evidence that residents who have good social connections are healthier and more able to deal with any health problems they may encounter compared to those who are isolated or lonely.

Anthony Bailey, from Happy Drums, said: “People can relax and express themselves – they can get away from their worries.”

“Music is a tool that unities people of different ages, abilities and cultures. We are bringing people together to make them happy.”

Will Nicholson, Project Manager at Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care, said: “I wasn’t entirely sure how drumming would help the health and wellbeing of local people in Lambeth, but after I took part in a session, I got it.

“It felt great to be part of a community and it makes you realise just what an important role social activities play in connecting and engaging people – a key determinant of people’s wellbeing.”

The Health and Wellbeing Fund, is a partnership project between Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care, Lambeth Council, NHS Lambeth CCG, The London Community Foundation and Vassall and Colharbour Forum. The initial fund was being trialled in the Vassall and Coldharbour areas. The feedback will be used to shape future activities across Lambeth and Southwark.

On Saturday 19 March, Vassall and Coldharbour Forum are hosting an ‘Open Space’ event where people can share their thoughts and experience of the projects. The main aim is to discuss how communities can work together to improve the wellbeing of local people. It is an all-day event, from 11.30am to 6pm, at held at The Loughborough Centre, 105 Angell Road, SW9 7PD. If you would like to attend, please confirm through Eventbrite – or email

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