A funding award of £225,000 has been announced by the Life Changes Trust and the Baring Foundation to establish a dementia inclusive choir network for the whole of Scotland. The funding has been awarded to creative ageing organisation Luminate to oversee the project. They will be supported by Age Scotland, Scottish Care and Making Music.
The new nation-wide network will offer opportunities for people living with dementia and their carers to come together within their own communities to do something that is meaningful to them as well as develop social relationships through singing.
Research has already shown that the benefits of participation in community singing can include improved mental, social and emotional well-being, increased confidence and improved quality of life.
Choirs also provide the opportunity for fun, friendship, feeling happier, feeling worthwhile and feeling valued. Singing in a choir can also give a sense of belonging as well as a sense of pride in the group and its achievements, and individuals can do something they enjoy, where dementia is not the focus.
Anna Buchanan, CEO of the Life Changes Trust, said, “With this funding, Luminate and their partners will create a strong, nationwide network of people with shared values and purpose, and a love of singing. Because of the stigma associated with dementia, many people living with the condition stop taking part in activities that may have given them great pleasure in the past, or which allowed them to mix with their peers. It can also prevent people trying new things – like singing. This choir network will support the sharing of resources and ideas, linking up newer choirs with more experienced choirs so they can be mentored, increase the public profile of dementia inclusive choirs and create opportunities for the abilities of people with dementia to be recognised and celebrated.”