A big surprise awaited staff and residents at Langley Haven Care Home on Saturday - after they invited members of the public to the launch of a new dementia friendly choir.

It turned out to be a bigger attraction than anyone had imagined.

Roxanna Chirita, who is community co-ordinator for Langley Haven in Rambler Lane said: "We had invited the community to come along but we expected it would be mainly senior citizens. We got much younger people than that and quite a few families.

"There were about 50 guests not counting friends and relatives of people who actually live here."

The new choir is called Melodies and Memories and it will hold weekly Thursday sessions between 3.30pm and 5pm at Langley Haven - all open to members of the public who will be able to mingle with residents while enjoying a 'sing song'.

The sessions will be directed by music teacher Emma Steele who has extensive experience of running choirs for all ages.

Saturday's launch welcome one special guest - Doctor Kamel Hodhi OBE, the celebrated financier who became TSB's first female manager in the South-east and the bank's first Asian manager. She is ranked in the top 100 most influential black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders in the UK.

She is also an ambassador for the Alzheimers Society.

Roxanna said: "She made a great speech about how choirs like Melodies and Memories helped with peoples' memories and socialising. She said that dementia was still not discussed enough in the Asian community and that this offered a great opportunity to raise awareness."