SOFA singing sessions for older and isolated people are getting in tune with Christmas wishes.

The Golden Oldies charity - fondly known as Goldies - has built an even larger audience during lockdown through its twice-weekly online sessions.

And a special Christmas carol concert will be held online during the festive season.

Before the pandemic, Goldies was running 220 fun daytime Sing & Smile sessions in venues throughout England and Wales, including Tenby, Hubberston, Crymych, Newcastle Emlyn and Cardigan.

The closure of these was forced by Covid, but Goldies quickly made a shift to online singing to enable people to enjoy the popular formula of hits from days gone by, with sessions led by Rachel Parry and Cheryl Davies.

Goldies founder Grenville Jones said: “The response was immediate and in July we were able to get funding to increase to twice weekly sessions. Rachel going live every Tuesday and Cheryl leading the singalongs every Thursday.”

As the sessions have progressed, they have been supported, promoted and followed by many other age-related organisations across England and Wales.

The Tuesday sessions with Rachel now take a more magazine-style approach with inserted public health information videos and ‘appearances’ from many of the session leaders who previously delivered the daytime sessions.

With Christmas on the horizon,Rachel and Cheryl are working towards a very special Christmas carol concert which will be broadcast the Wednesday prior to Christmas Day. It will include popular carols and special performances for everyone to enjoy at home.

With a designated website, the pre-recorded sessions go live on YouTube and on Facebook every week where they can be revisited at any time.

There is feedback every week from across the UK.

Said one lady, Mary Tamburella: "Thank you, I really do love the sessions. My sister-in-law lives with me. She has dementia and I play them to her most nights before bed.”

Grenville added: “If Goldies was important to lonely older isolated people prior to Covid, then now our work is even more vital to combat isolation and well-being, reaching out to those who are vulnerable and stuck at home.”