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Vicky McClure: Our Dementia Choir

Thu, 20th Feb 2020

Research has shown that participating in community singing can make a real impact on the lives of people living with dementia. We know that singing with others can improve mental, social and emotional wellbeing, as well as increasing confidence and improving quality of life.

In May 2019, I was moved when I watched BBC One’s two-part documentary Vicky McClure: Our Dementia Choir. The programme focused on a group of people living with several different types of dementia, and it showed clearly the benefits that people gain when singing together. The group came together to form a new choir, and they went on to perform in front of 2,000 people in their hometown of Nottingham. Vicky McClure – best known for her role in TV drama Line of Duty – went on a personal journey looking at the effects that joining a choir had on those who took part.   

The documentary made clear the sense of belonging that being part of a singing group can bring to people living with dementia, and to their carers and families. Group singing is an activity which is not only great fun, but can also offer support and friendship to those who take part.

This is why Age Scotland is delighted to be a partner in the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network. We are already proud to host the About Dementia: Shaping our Worlds Together project, which works with people affected by dementia to make changes to the things that are most important to them. The project was launched in April 2019 with funding from the Life Changes Trust.

And our dementia training team, also funded by the Life Changes Trust as well as The Robertson Trust, works to raise awareness and understanding of dementia. Our training helps groups, organisations and employers to support and include people living with dementia in their activities. The Age Scotland training team has worked closely with Luminate to design and provide a new programme of training for song leaders, volunteers and organisers who will form part of the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network.

I am looking forward to watching the network grow, and to seeing more local singing opportunities for people living with dementia becoming available all over the country. We hope you will use the resources you find on the website to find a dementia inclusive group near you. Visit the ‘find a choir or group’ page to see which groups are available in your community and get ready to start singing!

Brian Sloan

Chief Executive, Age Scotland

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