Support. Lesley Bonnefin is changing the lives of those in palliative care one soothing tune at a time.
The Stanley resident learned to play the harp 11 years ago, and has been using her talent ever since to light up the lives of palliative care patients living at Emmerton Park.
Volunteering her time to visit the nursing home weekly, Mrs Bonnefin describes the musical therapy to bring about a “cradle of sound” for those listening.
“It has been scientifically proven that slow, gentle, tentative music relaxes the body and slows breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, as well as temporarily relieving pain,” she said.
“After 20 minutes of soothing playing, the body reaches a state of inner peace.”
Now, Mrs Bonnefin needs to purchase a new, specially made therapy harp to continue this practise and close friend Marion Berry is rallying around the community to help her do it.
When Mrs Berry heard of Mrs Bonnefin’s dilemma she “dreamed up” the idea of a jelly-bean trail around Stanley with participating shops hosting a jar of jelly beans for six weeks on their shop counters.
“When Lesley told me of her predicament, I thought of ways we could fundraise for her,” Mrs Berry said.
“She’s giving something beautiful to our community so I thought we should give something back.”
Therapy harps need to be tuned lower and with slacker strings than regular harps, to create powerful vibrations which relax the body’s muscles; the constant retuning of Mrs Bonnefin’s personal harp has a negative effect on the sound of the instrument.
Several participating shops along Stanley’s Church Street are hosting the jelly bean jars. Customers can donate to the cause and take a guess at the number of treats inside for their chance to win the jar of goodies.
Mrs Bonnefin will perform a small recital on Friday October 23 at 5pm at the St Paul’s Church in Stanley as a way of thanking the community for their support.
Make a donation in-store for your chance to win the jar of sweets from these participating stores:
Stanley Discovery Museum
Good Shepherd Pharmacy
Crossland Antiques and Collectibles
Sticks and Stones, Shells and Bones
Ye Olde Chocolate Shoppe
The Swinging Anchor Cafe
Stanley Post Office