Doncaster charity welcomes grant to engage people with dementia through music

darts is celebrating after receiving a grant to expand its musical services for people living with dementia.

Saturday, 15th May 2021, 11:24 am

The money will enable the Doncaster-based charity to create a series of new CD newsletters to be delivered in person, with musical activity on people’s doorsteps. It will also provide a welcome opportunity to engage with people with dementia and their families across the Doncaster borough so they can join darts’ regular Singing for Memory group and activities at The Point.

The grant was received from Music for Dementia’s Paul & Nick Harvey Fund, which was set up specifically to directly support musical activities for people with dementia. darts is planning to provide CD players and DVD players to those who are already part of the Singing for Memory group, to increase access to musical activities and to connect with other members of the group. darts is also looking for new members to join the Singing for Memory group – this is open to any Doncaster resident with dementia or memory loss and their family carers.

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Doncaster residents sing with darts musician, Janet Wood at one of the garden gigs

Music for Dementia is a national campaign calling for music to be made accessible for everyone living with dementia. Music has a valuable role to play in enhancing quality of life for people living with the condition, and their carers. Research and lived experiences show that it can help reduce the often-distressing symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, apathy and anxiety.

Although darts’ building, The Point, has been closed since the first lockdown, the Singing for Memory sessions moved online and there are lots of downloadable videos and activities on the darts website – darts musicians also took their sessions on the road and delivered a number of Garden Gigs last summer with singer, Janet Wood. Small, socially distanced and Covid-safe sessions will be starting at The Point again soon – contact [email protected] for details.

Grace Meadows, Programme Director for Music for Dementia, said: “We are so delighted to be able to support darts and others across the UK with a grant from the Paul & Nick Harvey Fund. Musical services have been severely impacted in the last year, meaning many people living with dementia and their carers have lost those important connections and special moments that only music can provide.

“By directing the fund money towards community-based, musical services for people living with dementia and those that provide them, we are able to bring the joy of music into people’s lives wherever they are on their dementia journey.”

Cara McAleese, Project Manager at darts said: “This funding is vital for us to stay connected with our Singing for Memory group as well as to attract new people to the group who can benefit from the musical activities we provide. The pandemic has been so challenging for our participants with dementia and their family carers and this will help them feel more connected and improve their wellbeing.”

If you or someone in your family is living with dementia and would like to hear more about the project, please contact [email protected] or phone 01302 341662.

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