Charity welcomes £25,000 cash boost to help people with dementia through music

Herts Musical Memories

Kerry Brabant, founder of Herts Musical Memories celebrating the news as she finishes her online singing session - Credit: Herts Musical Memories

Herts Musical Memories is celebrating after receiving £25,000 to continue its musical services for people living with dementia.

The money will enable the small Hertfordshire-based charity to deliver singing sessions for people with the dementia to support their wellbeing.

The charity has temporarily closed its 'Musical Memories Sessions' due to COVID-19, but would normally host sessions in Hatfield, Letchworth, Harpenden, Welwyn Garden City, St Albans, Knebworth and more.

The charity is however planning to use the grant to help develop online sessions for people with dementia and their carers and get ready to return to sessions face to face.

The grant was received from Music for Dementia’s £500,000 Paul & Nick Harvey Fund, which was set up specifically to support musical activities for people with dementia.

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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.

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Research and lived experiences show that it can help reduce the often-distressing symptoms of dementia, such as agitation, apathy and anxiety.

Herts Musical Memories has been running singing sessions for people living with dementia since June 2017. Before the pandemic there were nearly 400 people regularly attending weekly sessions all over Hertfordshire.

Founder of the charity, Kerry Brabant said: "The impact of the pandemic was devastating, talking to our clients was heart breaking as they struggled to cope."

Grace Meadows, programme director for Music for Dementia, said: “We are so delighted to be able to support Herts Musical Memories 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.”

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