"The power of music, especially singing, to unlock memories and kickstart the grey matter is an increasingly key feature of dementia care. It seems to reach parts of the damaged brain in ways other forms of communication cannot." (Age UK)
The Forget Me Never project will aim to use music and other memory aids such as authentic 1950s props and musical instruments in order to encourage residents in various care homes and dementia wards across the UK to engage with others and become more socially active therefore increasing their levels of enjoyment within the centres.
My background is as a jazz singer and through singing classic songs from the 1920s-60s I've met many older people and sung in several care establishments. I have seen first hand how this type of event has the possibility to lift residents' spirits and thus improve their well being. It's been amazing to see the happiness being involved with music can bring to those with dementia and so to continue to provide this is so important to me.
I hope to employ a team of volunteers to facilitate sessions in areas I can't travel to. Funds raised will go towards travels costs for volunteers, purchasing memory aids and equipment for the sessions such as original 1950s items to stimulate long term memory. As well as authentic memorabilia, I also plan to purchase interactive instruments such as tambourines in order to let the participants create music themselves in a supportive environment.
I've so far had a little bit of funding from Lifetime in Warrington to run a session in Warrington Hospital's Dementia Ward and also two afternoon tea events which had the aim of socially integrating older people who may struggle to find activities themselves. These were successful events, however this is unfortunately not a continuous source of funding. So whilst I will also be looking to apply for grants from larger funding operaters, in the meantime I am hoping to continue the sessions and if possible start new ones so the project can be launched and potential funders can see the good work it can do rather than the theory of it.
The project is not just Northwest based though and I aim to implement it across the country once funding has been secured.
To support the project and raise awareness of Dementia, I will also be organising FREE events across the uk, starting with a series called 'The Tearoom Tour' in which I'll be popping up in some lovely tearooms to entertain you and bring information about the project. More details of dates can be found at www.facebook.com/bexiowen or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for visiting my project page!