Christmas Party at Orb

Another amazing party was had at Orb. We were all very festive, and the mulled wine was delicious, even though Jon tried to put me off by saying that it looked like someone had dropped a cigar in it! They hadn’t, I wasn’t deterred, and it was very tasty; as was the lovely variety of food made by the Grow, Cook and Eat group.

Amaku Miru played some of their classics and added some very catchy new releases. Their songs always have a slightly grungy feel which I like; and Emma having written the lyrics on current events- politically and in her and Andy’s life, adds a personal touch which is very enjoyable to listen to.

After Amaku Miru, it was the Natural Singing Voice Group’s turn to perform. I’ve usually just been a spectator, but this time, I was part of it! I’ve been attending the group for a couple of weeks now (Tuesday’s 6-8pm), and it is so uplifting. It doesn’t feel anywhere near as intimidating to sing with the group in front of others as I’d anticipated. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a good singer (I’m not!) we all sing in perfect harmony together, and several people complimented us. I felt honoured to be part of it. Singing traditional songs, including Silent Night certainly gave the event a festive charm.

Then, I got called upon to be a second ‘glamorous assistant’ for the Cabaret completely last minute! With the only instructions being to have on stage jealous rivalry with Helen (who looked far more glamorous than me), I went on the stage when prompted and went with the flow! While I made a very spiteful assistant, I’m not sure that I was that useful in practical terms since I couldn’t fold the table! I don’t know whether I got away with it looking like part of the slapstick comedy, but now you know that my DIY skills are genuinely non-existent even at the most basic level! Being given a script, singing a vegetable-based version of Live Aid and the more serious but uplifting song This is me (from The Greatest Showman soundtrack), was great fun! While Helen and I had very animated rivalry on stage, behind the scenes she was extremely friendly and helpful and gave me very clear instructions on what to do and when.

John, aka ‘Melancholia Tramp’, read out two of his very powerful poems as part of the Cabaret group. One being a rap inspired by a photograph that I provided for a creative writing class that I led a while ago, and another being a poem about the phone absorbed culture that we now live in. They were both so true to life and written with a rhythm that made the words and the societal undertones stick in your head.

The Queen’s Speech was an excellent spoof, but also really showcased just how much Orb has achieved in 2018. Including “Arilyn” and very recently “Andrilyn” who have helped so many people get out of isolation and to get involved with voluntary or paid work. This will thankfully continue into 2019.

I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings for Orb!

Written by Jennifer Jackson 


“Just jump up on the stage!” 

The last thing I thought that I would be doing yesterday was singing with Orb. Why not? You may ask. You love singing. You love performing – but one of the nasty things that depression does is rob you of all your confidence. However, being made so welcome by the Cabaret crew, I felt myself thinking maybe I can do this…

Then the reassurance from the lovely Jon:

“Look Nuala, you can decide on the day, just jump up on the stage”.

Just the reassurance I needed…

Well I did it and I loved every minute of it.

Unfortunately ‘even though the whole world’s a stage’ I can’t stay on the one at Orb.

And has it lifted my depression? The black dog is still hanging around but I have seen him shifting slightly from the settee sometimes… so he is moving.

Now, although I can’t stay on the stage or in the Cabaret forever, Orb’s front door is still open to me and the good thing is NO DOG ALLOWED… and certainly not black!

Written by Nuala Whorley


Christmas acrostic

The Orb Living with Dementia Singing and Art Group’s Christmas tree at St John’s Church

Joy and jubilation at the

Orb Christmas Party

An atmosphere of fun and happiness

Noel is on its way

No snow yet, but maybe…

Everyone was filled with festive cheer

Written by Jo Hepplestone 





If the two-week Christmas period is difficult for you at any point, here are some numbers to call confidentially:

  • Samaritans are available to call for free on 116 123 no matter what time or what day.
  • The North Yorkshire Mental Health Helpline are also available for 24 hours over weekends, between 5pm and 8.30am Mondays to Thursdays, and from 4.30pm through the night until 8.30am on Fridays, on 0333 0000 309.