Susan Boyle sings for city music group

Susan Boyle visits the music group. Picture: contributed

Susan Boyle visits the music group. Picture: contributed

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SHE shot to fame with an emotional rendition of I Dreamed a Dream – and superstar singer Susan Boyle helped some fans live their own musical dreams after she dropped in on a local music group.

SuBo, who has sold over 20 million albums since being discovered on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, was a surprise guest at the Penumbra Milestone – a 10-bed residential service for people recovering from alcohol related brain damage (ARBD).

Grammy-nominated Boyle took time out of her busy schedule to visit the specialist health and social care service in Edinburgh last week, and after being given a guided tour by Service Manager Lesley Forbes she spent time listening to a music group made up of residents.

And as well as chatting to the residents she played piano and sang her hot version of the Rolling Stones song Wild Horses.

Dr Mathew Hicks, who runs the music group at Penumbra Milestone, said; “Our music therapy group aims to encourage recovery from ARBD. Performing and listening to music helps residents to improve memory, coordination and motivation.

“When we told residents that Susan Boyle was coming to the therapy group they thought we were joking. When she arrived they were amazed.

“Susan listened to the music and chatted to staff and residents. Towards the end of her visit she sang one of her biggest hits – Wild Horses.

“It was an amazing experience to hear her sing in person... we were mesmerised”

The singer, who is due to head into the studio to record a new album later this month, was invited to visit Penumbra Milestone by a former service user.

Penumbra Milestone is a partnership between mental health charity Penumbra, Waverley Care, NHS Lothian and Edinburgh City Council’s Department of Health and Social Care. It is an alcohol-free 10-bedded step-down unit which provides short-term care.

It began accepting referrals in late 2014, and has its official opening on 23 April 2015. Actress, comedienne and 
campaigner Elaine C Smith – who coincidently played the role of Susan Boyle in a musical based on the singer’s life – will be the special guest at the opening.

newsen@edinburghnews.com