Lowestoft woman starts drum therapy business to help dementia sufferers

Roll up, roll up...Lowestoft is banging the drums for a new business.

A former human resources manager has started a new business beating the drums to help relieve stress and empower people.

Katina Chapman, 41, of The Avenue, Lowestoft has started her own spirituality-based business, Spiral of Light, which helps people through drum therapy.

Mrs Chapman left her job as head of human resources at Otley College in Ipswich, where she had worked for nearly four years, to start her new venture.

She had previously worked in the personnel industry for 20 years.

Mrs Chapman said: 'I left the college in March and started my own business. I have always had an interest in alternative therapies and in 2006 I did a course in crystal therapy.'

In April she completed a sound therapy course at the British Academy of Sound Therapy in Wiltshire.

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She said: 'We did a lot of work about sound therapy and its uses – the idea is to do group work.

'My dad, who is 92 and has dementia, came round for lunch and he had the drum out and started tapping it. He was on one side of the drum and I was on the other and we made a rhythm.'

She then approached local day centres and worked with older people. Mrs Chapman added: 'We started off with a few games. They said it was nice to do something active. It was a really nice session. It's good because it gives them something they can do while sitting in a chair. I then contacted residential homes and was amazed at the response.'

She worked with people with dementia and when she returned for a second session after a few weeks, they remembered her as 'the drum lady' and recalled some rhythms they had practised.

She also worked with students at Otley College who suffer from learning difficulties.

Sandra Grant from the college said: 'The students really enjoyed the sessions. We hope Katina comes back again as she was really enthusiastic and effective.'

Mrs Chapman added: 'The sessions at the college seemed to go down very well. The students responded well to the different instruments.

'My dad gave me the inspiration to work with people with dementia. The good thing is that you don't have to be musical or be able to read music to do it. People can see the benefits.

'The point of what I am trying to achieve is that I want to empower people. When I worked in HR I dealt with people who were suffering from stress and I would help them take control of their lives.'

To find out more about the business, visit www.spiraloflight.co.uk