£500k donation from Sir Tom Hunter

November 3, 2020

To our surprise and absolute delight, Sir Tom Hunter announced on BBC Breakfast on Monday 2nd November that The Hunter Foundation would be giving £1m to Paul and Nick Harvey for them to ‘help put a light into trying to release people from Alzheimer’s’.

During the programme Sir Tom said to Paul and Nick: “We really believe music is a key…we really believe you are onto something and we want to help.” The pair immediately decided to divide the money between Music for Dementia and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The previous week Paul had recorded a single of his tune, improvised with just four notes, with the BBC Philharmonic. He and Nick announced that proceeds from sales would be divided between the two causes. The single has since been downloaded more than 11,000 times from streaming services and is tipped to be heading into the Top 20. (Read more about this story).

Sir Tom, a Scottish entrepreneur who lost both his parents to Alzheimer’s disease, spoke movingly of a father’s love for his son and a son’s love for his father. He added that he takes inspiration from the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie ‘who said you should do something with your money while you are still alive’.

Hearing the news for the first time while live on air, Grace Meadows, Music for Dementia’s Programme Director, said: “For this to be one of the many results to have come about because of Paul’s beautiful, naturally gifted musicality and their love for each other is just the most extraordinary thing.”

She continued: “My mind is racing about the wonderful ways in which we can support our musical workforce to really support people living with dementia and those who care for them, because so many services haven’t been able to happen over the past 6-7 months.

“Now more than ever…we need music in our lives. This really speaks to the power of music. This is all about relationships – music is people, people are all about relationships. We are so incredibly grateful to Sir Tom and his foundation.”

If you would like to be involved with the Music for Dementia campaign, please read more on our How can I help? page.