Wellness with WNO

Delivered in partnership with NHS Wales Health Boards, Wellness with WNO is a singing and breathing programme for people with Long COVID in Wales.

This six-week online programme was developed with NHS medical professionals and is designed to support people experiencing feelings of breathlessness and anxiety that have continued longer term after the initial symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.

Launched in November 2021, the programme is delivered in a relaxed, informal setting where participants are invited to explore singing and performing techniques used at Welsh National Opera, with the aim to support improved breath control, lung function, circulation, and posture. Over 100 participants have completed the programme so far, with many also engaging with the Company longer-term at drop-in sessions to continue their progress. 

This programme is a ray of sunshine in this bleak and lonely illness

Wellness with WNO participant

I have felt close to tears in a good way. I’m in a place where people are caring for me and validating my experience. It is a great approach. It doesn’t feel medical, it feels that you’re tricking people into doing something that’s good by having fun.

Wellness with WNO participant

Without Wellness with WNO, I’d have been in hospital. I tried the breathing exercises when my oxygen went dangerously low. Within half an hour I was able to do the humming technique and got out of the danger zone and averted hospital admission. Knowing that I could do that and help myself was amazing.

Wellness with WNO participant

We accept direct referrals from NHS Long COVID Services from all Health Boards in Wales:

  • Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
  • Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Powys Teaching Health Board
  • Swansea Bay University Health Board

For more information, please contact WNO Producer April Heade on wellness@wno.org.uk

Wellness with WNO is supported by Arts Council Wales via the Arts, Health and Wellbeing Lottery Fund and has been devised in consultation with English National Opera and based on their original ENO Breathe project. The pilot programme was developed by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and Welsh National Opera. The Wellness with WNO programme sessions have been co-designed and are led by WNO Vocal Specialists Zoë Milton-Brown, Jenny Pearson and Kate Woolveridge MBE.