In October and November 2020, we ran our first pilot sessions of ENO Breathe with a small cohort of participants.
Participants ranged from those in their 30s to their 70s, and were 41% ethnically diverse. For 25% of the group, English was not their first language and 20% expressed concern at the start of the programme that singing was ‘not for them’.
The outcome of the pilot is overwhelmingly positive, with 90% of participants stating that they perceive ENO Breathe to have had either ‘positive’ or ‘strong positive’ impact on their breathlessness, and 91% stating that the programme had ‘positive’ or ‘strong positive’ impact on their anxiety levels.
Read what participants have said in their own words
‘I feel that I’m part of a support group which is invaluable at this stage. It has given me practical tools to deal with the breathlessness.’
‘Even though some of us are not singers, it doesn’t really matter. It just feels that you want to be in that gang, you want to join in. And I just want to say thank you.’
‘Singing helped me exercise my lungs to control and manage my breath better.’
‘The use of the lullabies and the relaxing songs kind of calms you already, ready to breathe in a more focused way. I thought it was sneaky!’
‘I think this is a fantastic program. The delivery of it has been fantastic and I can only speak for somebody who came in completely blind.’
‘When they said that singing was going to be part of the programme, I thought I had joined the wrong programme because I really cannot sing. But when I joined, it was helpful. I enjoyed it. I liked it, and I liked the singing.’
‘I never before had an experience like this. I didn’t think things like singing could help me with my breathing and improve my recovery from Covid and it has really helped me emotionally and physically.’
‘I’m neither a singer and I’m not a native English speaker. I feel that the content of the programme has been so well thought about for something that appeals to everyone. It’s all inclusive and I think that in itself is amazing and shows that a lot of thought has gone into the content.’
‘I’m sure that over six weeks I would have made some recovery anyway, but I definitely know that during my day to day life, I’m calling upon things that I’ve done in the course. I’ve no doubt that ENO has been one of the causes of my progress over the last six weeks.’
‘I’m more prepared / armed now to handle my breathing moving forward.’
‘It’s prevented me from calling my GP about anxiety brought on by breathing issues. I genuinely believe it will take pressure off medical facilities.’
‘ENO made me feel like someone still cared and something was actively being done to recognise and ‘treat’ long covid and not let us become lost in the ether.’
‘As a non-native English speaker, I wasn’t sure I was going to fit in with ENO, but it has been a fantastic tool that has given me my confidence back.’
‘I feel the improvement week on week.’
‘My experience with ENO Breathe has been fantastic, it has really aided me enormously with my breathlessness and also my anxiety a little around re-integrating myself back into society.’