Registered Charity All In Sound runs project Sing! Together that is a high-quality singing and music-making programme that is for people living with a dementia, memory loss and their carers. Successfully trialled during 2018, we are excited and hopeful that we can continue in 2019. We are bringing people together who have similar health conditions, and those who are caring for these people. This builds a strong community and impacts on the well-being of all the people who come into the contact with the programme.
Not only does this programme have social aspects and reduce the feelings of isolation that are so common for people who care for others, but also there are significant benefits of being involved in regular music-making and singing sessions. Using songs that people know already brings back memories and conversations, whereas introducing new songs and musical ideas challenges the brain helping to keep it healthy and active. We also have an element of very gentle chair-based exercise in the session using props such as bean bags and scarves, that helps to keep us mobile and the blood flowing to all vital organs.
This can help people in day to day life as they learn to live with dementia and reach a potential they may otherwise not - this can be true of both the people living with a dementia as well as their carers.
The project will run for the whole of 2019, and everyone will be welcome to come and join who is living with a dementia, memory loss and their carers.
The programme initially came about through a local professional musician being asked if she ran any singing groups for people living with a dementia. As there is no such group in Ely, and she has the expertise to run such a group, Sing! Together has been successfully trialling during 2018 through funds raised locally.
We would like to develop the group more, and be able to welcome more people in, in the same location, and in different settings including care homes throughout Cambridgeshire, and run sessions collaborating with staff in the settings. We will also introduce other professional musicians and music leaders to widen the experience of people who will come into contact with the programme.
We will collaborate with local schools setting up a scheme whereby young people can come and be involved - the benefits of interaction on all levels here are shown to be great, and we are excited to look to add this dimension to the project. This will be done in careful collaboration with the local secondary school, primary school and pre-school.
We will promote the group through local advertisements in libraries as well as visiting other local groups that are for people living with a dementia, such as coffee mornings, and local hospitals and doctors' surgeries. We will also use social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which will help to raise the profile of the work. Local information networks and magazines will also be used to help people to find out about us, as well as word of mouth from people who already come, along with their friends and families.
Using local people as Volunteers also adds depth to this project enabling them to be part of something where they can make a difference. All volunteers are fully DBS checked and trained, as are all music leaders and musicians.
The programme will be fully evaluated in several ways including through formal evaluation forms and conversation and discussion, with people who access the programme always welcome to discuss their ideas and feedback.
We have reached this stage in development through careful evaluation from the people who have attended already in 2018 - from the comments and feedback from participants and volunteers, and the evaluation from the music leader. This has enabled us to develop and design the future of the programme and we are really hopeful and excited for the possibilities, so please do support our programme.
Thank you for your time.