Music4Wellbeing celebrates after receiving £6,000 of funding to keep people living with dementia singing

Our charity, Music4Wellbeing (M4W), has been awarded £6,000 over 3 years in Power of Music funding to support our work with people living with dementia. The fund is for our work in Medway. It will be used to develop a Power of Music Medway (POMM) Network comprising people and organisations who are dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by dementia and other degenerative neurological conditions (DNC’s) through research-led music activities.

M4W has been delivering services in Medway for over eight years and has to date supported over 300 people. Our successful application to the Power of Music Fund will enable us to continue to design, deliver and further develop meaningful activities for people living with dementia and other DNCs, drawing on their personal experiences and the knowledge of local Medway-based dementia-focused partners.  

Our Medway participants say: “We’re delighted that The Power of Music Fund has supported our singing groups. Now, thanks to the funding, we will be able to continue the popular and much-needed activities and include more people in Medway who would benefit. Without this funding, despite the hard work and generosity of many people, we were at risk of having to close our Medway activities. For many of us the opportunity to take part is a vital lifeline to our wellbeing.” The funding will allow M4W to involve many more people living with these health challenges in Medway.

The Power of Music Fund is being managed by the National Academy for Social Prescribing and has been kickstarted by a £1 million donation from The Utley Foundation. It is also supported by Arts Council England, Music for All, and other donors, including members of the public. 

The fund builds on the recommendations of the 2022 Power of Music Report, which outlined the benefits that music can have for health and wellbeing – including for people living with dementia. Through the fund, the National Academy for Social Prescribing aims to support grassroots groups providing support through music, and also improve links with healthcare providers, so that people with dementia and their carers can be ‘socially prescribed’ music projects.

Charlotte Osborn-Forde, CEO at the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said: “We’re thrilled to have awarded Music4Wellbeing this funding as part of the Power of Music’s mission to deliver funds to grassroots projects as part of social prescribing, especially in parts of the country where the need is greatest.

“The money can cover basic costs such as room hire and travel, but more importantly, it will provide support for people living with dementia and their families, improving their physical and mental wellbeing and creating moments of joy and connection through music.”

The Utley Foundation has been working to make music an integral part of dementia care for ten years through its Music for Dementia campaign.

Sarah Metcalfe, Managing Director at The Utley Foundation, said: “Research shows music can help people living with dementia and their families. More must be done to make it an integral part of dementia care. The Utley Foundation was delighted to kickstart NASP’s Power of Music Fund with £1million and is thrilled that Music4Wellbeing is one of the first organisations to benefit so that local people can benefit.”

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