Singing group bring the X-Factor

The Wednesday Girls
The Wednesday Girls

Nicholas McDonald may be destined for superstardom but another group of Lanarkshire singers are proving the youngster isn’t the only one from the area with real X Factor.

Whilst the diminutive star looks forward to a glittering future, Wishaw’s very own over 65s group, The Wednesday Girls, have been delving into the past to hit life’s high notes.

The group’s ingenious ‘A Story and A Song’ project has seen individual members reminisce on a song they associate with days gone by – which the group then sings together.

Now, fittingly, information on the unique chorale group, including a short film, is set to be showcased at special event in St Aidan’s High school – where singing sensation Nicholas is a sixth year pupil.

The event, on Saturday, November 23, will highlight many supports and services for older people in the Wishaw area as part of the nationwide Reshaping Care for Older People programme (RCOP).

A key aim of RCOP is to give people and community groups resources and backing to enable them to take a leading role in developing the support and services their community needs.

The Wednesday Girls, who meet in Thornlie Primary School every Wednesday night, are one such group who’ve taken centre stage in the drive to strengthen their community.

Morene Simpson, community learning and development worker, said: “A Story and A Song sees our members share memories, mistakes and the general mayhem of times gone by and the music they associate with it.

“For example, one of the members, originally from Hamilton, told the group how she decided to skip school with her pal when they were 10.

“Instead of getting off the bus at Bothwell they stayed on until Wishaw - and had half the local police force out looking for them!

“Needless to say, they were severely reprimanded but the experience, and the comfort that there was people looking out for them, has always stuck.

“The song the person associated with that is Someone to Watch Over Me.”

Morene added: “We’re always on the lookout for new members and we find that sharing these experiences is a real ice breaker with music being the gel that binds the group together.”

Although the group has been in existence for a decade, The Girls’ recent project has been backed by RCOP funding.

With the help of a professional tutor, they’re now set to record a CD in the New Year, with an accompanying booklet.

Christine McNally, of charity Getting Better Together, who are playing a key role in organising the forthcoming open day through the RCOP programme, explained: “The Wednesday Girls are a prime example of a group who are playing a crucial role in the heart of the community.

“Groups like these, and many more, will be represented at the event to demonstrate the real-life difference they are making by keeping many older people connected with their communities.

“There will much more on the day including head massage, yoga, exercise activities and computer workshops.

“We hope many older people will be encouraged to join new groups out there – or take the opportunity to tell us if their community needs something specific.”

In North Lanarkshire RCOP is combining the expertise of the voluntary sector, with partners including NHS Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council and the independent sector.

A free lunch will be provided at the event, which lasts from 10:30am to 3pm.

Free assisted transport is also available/ please book in advance by telephoning , Paul Bridges, Getting Better Together 01501 825800. To join the Wednesday Girls contact Morene Simpson on 01698 274338.