The Soundtrack to Henshaws: Community Services Top Tunes

Find out what our Community Services staff got up to at their annual Strategy Day, and find out what songs our staff put forward as the songs that represent what we're all about at Henshaws!

This month, our Community Services staff came together for their annual Strategy Day, a fantastic opportunity to celebrate past achievements and look to the future. It’s great to reflect and look at the distance we have travelled.

The Strategy Day is also good fun, with activities to encourage our staff to think outside the box – let Mark explain what the team got up to this year:

This year, Lee Gosnay, the founder of Broad-minded Electronic Music Arts Service, helped us to create ‘sweet music’. We were shown how to use groove boxes which can be used like a drum machine and synthesiser.

We then created our own drum patterns, bass lines and melodies. The idea was that Lee would take away the samples that we produced and make our own Henshaws tune that we could use in our Knowledge Village – good luck with that one Lee!

The activity was great fun, and the members of the team got stuck into the tech!

Mark sitting at a table playing with his groove box

The team also picked songs that represent the work we do and/or the people we work with here at Henshaws, creating a soundtrack to Henshaws and highlighting our thoughts and feelings. The songs were chosen by different members of the team for their poignant lyrics.

The team all sat through and listened to extracts of the songs – this was an uplifting experience and went down well. Below are explanations for just some of the songs that were chosen.

Praise You – Fat Boy Slim


This song was chosen by Mark, who manages our Digital Enablement Team, and is also the face and voice of many of our Knowledge Village videos!

He chose this song because while the lyrics are very simple, they are also very powerful! The song is a way to applaud both service users and staff. The journey we go on can be painful, but we do it and everyone comes out the other end all the better!


State Of Independence – Sao Benitez


This song was chosen by Julie, who manages the hubs across Greater Manchester.

One of our goals at Henshaws is to enable our service users to be as independent as possible and this song sums that up perfectly and sums up Henshaws generally.

The original version of this song was released by Donna Summer in 1982, but Julie chose the Sao Benitez version because it is anthemic, upbeat and quirky like Henshaws!

Lean On Me – Bill Withers


This song was chosen by Richard, one of our Digital Enablement Officers.

For him, the song perfectly sums up Henshaws, and more specifically Community Services.

The song sums up the work they do to support service users to go beyond expectations, be more independent and access social opportunities, with Richard focussing on the lyrics from the chorus:

“Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow…… Lean on me, when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.”


Let’s Work Together – Canned Heat


This song was chosen by Charley and Philippa, who both work in the First Step Team.

To deliver our services to as many people as we do, it is important that we work together and communicate effectively as a team to support our service users but also each other. This song sums up how important teamwork is here at Henshaws!

This Is Me – Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble


This song was chosen by Lydia, who works in our Children, Young People and Families (CYP) team.

She chose this song because it spreads the message that you should be who you are and proud.

The song also talks about going beyond expectations through lyrics including ‘I won’t let them break me down to dust, I know that there’s a place for us!’ Enabling people with sight loss and other disabilities to go beyond expectations is what drives everything we do here at Henshaws!


I Believe – Yolanda Adams


This song was chosen by Caroline.

This song spreads the message that if you believe in yourself, you can achieve your dreams.

At Henshaws, we encourage people to achieve their dreams and ambitions to lead a fulfilling and independent life.

The song is very upbeat and positive which is what we are at Henshaws!

The Impossible Dream – Andy Williams


This song was chosen by Simon, our Rehab Officer.

Some people, when they lose their sight, initially believe that carrying out everyday tasks and accessing certain opportunities is impossible. At Henshaws, we’re all about challenging that!

This song represents Henshaws’ goal to get people with sight loss and other disabilities doing what others perceive as impossible, thus showing that those things are possible! We’re also about making people with sight loss realise that anything is possible even if things initially seem impossible!


True Colours – Cyndi Lauper


This song was chosen by Deborah, one of Henshaws’ counsellors.

The song beautifully describes the way in which we shine if we allow others to see our real selves. Allowing others to see our true self encourages better communication between staff and also better communication with our service users.

Check out the playlist!


Listed above are just some of the songs that were put forward! If you have Apple Music, why not check out the playlist and give all the songs a listen, and sing along if you like! You can also listen via Spotify – click here for the Spotify version!

Find Out More about Community Services


If you would like more information about the services that we offer across the North West, visit our Community Services pages or give us a call on 0300 222 5555.

All Community Services staff stood together in a group

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Alice is the Digital Communications Officer and is responsible for producing blogs and EBooks for Henshaws Knowledge Village.