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The Life Changes Trust

Fri, 31st Jan 2020

Message from The Life Changes Trust about the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network

The Life Changes Trust and the Baring Foundation have funded a number of projects that enable older people and people with dementia to participate in the arts. These projects challenge assumptions and stereotypes, address discrimination and provide an opportunity for people to thrive in later life.

Research has shown that taking part in community singing activities can improve people’s well-being and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It is a fun way for people to be part of their local community, and it can improve quality of life for adults who are living with long term health conditions.

In November 2017, the Trust and the Baring Foundation held a meeting with a number of people and organisations in Scotland who had an interest in dementia and singing. This included the unpaid carers of people with dementia. The meeting highlighted the importance of community choirs and singing groups being inclusive of people living with dementia. We know there are many ‘dementia choirs’ that have been set up to support people living with dementia, but the discussion made clear that it’s also important for people with dementia to have the chance to sing alongside other members of their community.

That meeting led the Life Changes Trust and the Baring Foundation to fund Luminate to set up the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network in Scotland. 

The Network has an important role to play in raising awareness about dementia and what people can achieve in their day to day lives. This is important for communities to understand, and also gives a greater sense of belonging and confidence to people living with dementia. For the wider family, the choir or singing group can be a place for them to go to escape the pressures of day to day life.

The Network is open to existing and new choirs and singing groups. It is bringing real benefit to people with dementia and unpaid carers, as well as the wider community, in local areas across Scotland. At the same time it is helping us to better understand the benefits of dementia inclusive choirs.

We are delighted to see the progress made by the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network since its launch in May 2019 at the Luminate Festival. It is fantastic to see it grow and we now welcome the launch of their new website! I am sure this will add great value to their work and encourage more choirs to get involved.

Arlene Crockett

Director of Evidence & Influencing, Dementia Programme, Life Changes Trust

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