Joint funding for music services helps more people with dementia

August 19, 2021

New funding from Music for Dementia and the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) is set to help more people benefit from the power of music and social prescribing.

The pioneering partnership means four organisations delivering musical services for people with dementia are to receive grants of up to £50,000, supporting social prescribing activities that promote health and wellbeing at a national and local level. The selected organisations applied to the Paul & Nick Harvey Fund earlier this year.

Projects receiving funds for their work are:

  • Musica Music and Wellbeing CIC, which offers music workshops across the country for people living with dementia in care settings and online training for carers
  • The Derbyshire Stroke & Neuro Therapy Centre, which also reaches into South Yorkshire and provides a diverse musical programme for its service users
  • Arts and community venue The Seagull Theatre Lowestoft, which is planning to extend its Singing for the Brain Groups into an existing area and one new area, and in doing so help an additional 40 to 60 families
  • Saffron Hall Trust, which runs a thriving Together in Sound music therapy group in partnership with Cambridge Institute of Music Therapy Research at Anglia Ruskin University

Music is my memories

John Sharpe, who attends The Derbyshire Stroke & Neuro Therapy Centre, is just one of many people who will benefit from the funding.

John, who was diagnosed with dementia six years ago, says: “Music is my memories. It makes me remember the bands I saw long ago, such as Queen at Earls Court in 1982 and Bowie in Manchester. I really enjoy talking to my friends here about music and bands, it’s so good to remember them together.”

Although he has attended the centre for just a few months, John is already benefitting from its services. “My dementia has no cure – my arms and legs look fine, but my brain isn’t.  I love coming to the centre and seeing singers like Claire from Razzle Dazzle and Paper Kite, it brings a smile to my face.”

Second round of grants

Grace Meadows, Music for Dementia Campaign Director said: “It is wonderful to be able to work closely with NASP on this project and to be offering a second round of grants this year to musical activities working with people with dementia. As an expert grant maker in this field The Utley Foundation, who back the Music for Dementia campaign, have been able to move swiftly to ensure that the money is channelled into communities where this funding can make a real impact and benefit individuals and carers directly.

“We hope this partnership paves the way for further ventures in the future, enabling more people with dementia to access music and enjoy its many benefits through social prescribing.”

James Sanderson, Chief Executive of the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said: “We know that music is powerful and meaningful for many, whether it’s learning something new or reminiscing over an old song.

“Supporting meaningful social prescribing activities like this, in communities in England, allows more people to support the people they work with in a personal way. We are pleased to be able to help fund these activities, to help more people benefit.”

We’ll be making regular updates on the progress of these projects, and the people taking part, in the coming months.