It’s often said that laughter is the best medicine but health boss Lynn Woods reckons it’s singing that hits the right note when it comes to keeping body and mind in tune.
Lynn is Chief Nurse with NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in Derby. However, she spends much of her spare time singing bass in the Lace City Chorus, a Nottingham-based barbershop choir.
Highlights of her four years with the chorus have included performing for Children in Need on BBC One, heralding Torvill and Dean in song when they carried the Olympic Torch through Nottingham in 2012, and singing right across the UK and Ireland – as well as in Houston, Texas.
Lynn and her fellow singers are now gearing up for the Barbershop World Championships in Las Vegas in October next year, when they will compete against around 30 other choirs from across the globe.
Lace City Chorus booked its place in the finals by recording the highest ever score in the British, Irish and Dutch regional event in the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham. Just for good measure, they have also won five national competitions and are currently rated 10th in the world.
As a senior health professional, Lynn is quick to sing the praises of her hobby, pointing out that it is an excellent aerobic activity that strengthens the upper body, improves lung function, decreases heart rate and promotes mental wellbeing.
“There’s evidence that singing helps people live longer and happier lives. It’s sometimes hard juggling work with singing but I always try to leave on time for Wednesday rehearsals. Singing is very therapeutic because you don’t think about work while you’re doing it.”
Lynn is now president of the 83-member choir, made up of people from all walks of life including health workers, teachers, lawyers and media professionals.
As Chief Nurse, Lynn has a legal duty to ensure that the health services planned and bought by the CCG provide the best possible care for the 525,000 people in the Southern Derbyshire area. As a member of the Governing Body, she also advises the CCG on all nursing issues it considers.