2217. Grenville Jones
Grenville Jones, from Bath, is a choir leader who set up ‘Golden-Oldies’, a music charity that connects the older people at risk of social isolation through daytime ‘singalongs’ of classic hits from the '60s and beyond.
Also known as ‘Goldies’, Grenville established the first group in 2008, having seen the positive impact that singing together can have. The group’s focus is on bringing together those who may be feeling isolated, providing a chance to socialise and make new friends, while enjoying singing. Grenville has grown the charity from a small collective in Bath to a charity with daytime sessions based across England and Wales. The sessions are led by over 50 freelance session leaders, who host over 200 monthly singalong sessions in community spaces, libraries, and church halls in England and Wales. The charity has a shop in Keynsham, and Grenville hopes to open a second charity shop in Cardiff in the future.
The charity also works with Primary Schools through their ‘BIG SING’ events and have just launched their new ‘Goldies Cymru inter-generational’ primary schools programme. Grenville is looking to expand the charity further to include older individuals across Scotland.’
In a personal letter to Grenville, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I want to thank you for everything you do to bring people together through singing.
“It is wonderful to hear how your nostalgic, daytime singalongs of classic hits from the Sixties and beyond are bringing older generations together, particularly those at risk of isolation.
“Since setting up your first Golden Oldies choir in Bath sixteen years ago, I hear you have expanded across England and Wales, with thousands of people taking part every month.”
Wera Hobhouse, Grenville ’s local MP for Bath, said:
“Many congratulations to Grenville for achieving this award and his terrific work in setting up ‘The Golden-Oldies’ charity. Music is so essential for our wellbeing and keeping us connected with one another, especially as we get older. Grenville Jones has created something very special with his charity, brightening up the lives of so many with a song and a smile. ‘The Golden-Oldies’ has been a huge success, originating in Bath, with sessions now taking place all across England, and persevering through the challenges brought by the pandemic. I am so pleased to see that Grenville’s impressive work is being celebrated by the Points of Light award.”
“On behalf of the Golden-Oldies Charity and the hundreds of older people whose lives are brightened by Songs & Smiles, I wish to send a huge message of thanks to you for recognising the value of our work.”
Find out more about ‘The Golden-Oldies’