A Hertfordshire music group is going global after its uniquely tailored sessions for people with Parkinson's was featured by the BBC.

Maria's Musical Movers was featured in a recent edition of the BBC's 'People Changing the World' radio programme, highlighting the work they do to help people to manage some of the symptoms of Parkinson's, particularly problems with movement, and improve their quality of life. 

Maria Thomas, who runs the sessions, initially devised the idea as part of Songlines for Parkinson's, a research project exploring how music may help people with the condition. The idea was such a hit that the sessions continued, at the request of participants.

Maria said: “Running Maria’s Musical Movers has been fantastic, especially getting to know the people who come regularly and seeing the impact the sessions have for them.

"It’s been wonderful to see people listening to music in a more engaged way.

"One of our participants now uses music alongside the physio exercises she has been given, as she finds it helps motivate her to do them.  "

While tailored for those with Parkinson's, they can be enjoyed by anyone, especially people with other conditions that inhibit their ability to move.

Rozi, one of the group's members, said: "I found about the class through friends, and I was hooked from the first day I joined.

"Not only is Maria the most knowledgeable person when it comes to music, but she is ever so kind and friendly right from the time that you meet her.

"She keeps us busy by introducing us to different songs and instruments, and the time goes by very quickly. 

"I wish I’d known about Maria’s classes sooner as it’s helped me with my voice, as I suffer from Parkinson’s, and it’s also allowed me to meet other people. The class has a warm, welcoming feeling to it."

The sessions run every Monday during term time at Trestle Arts Base, St Albans (11am-2:30pm) and Shephall Community Centre, Stevenage (2-3:30pm).

Maria is actively seeking new members and the sessions cost £8, with the first session free as a taster.