Groups make great use of grants

Since 2020, our Dementia Inclusive Singing Network has provided grants to help groups across Scotland keep singing through lockdown and beyond.


They have been used in different ways, for example buying new equipment and covering the costs of activities and events.  In each case the grant has helped ensure that people living with dementia and their carers have the opportunity to enjoy singing together, with many forming long-lasting friendships as a result. 


The Network supports singing groups which were set up to support people who are living with dementia, as well as community choirs which include people affected by dementia among their members.  We connect people with singing groups in their local area, and we work with song leaders and conductors to help them provide opportunities that are enjoyable and meaningful for people with dementia and their carers.   


Here are some stories from groups who received grants from us in 2022: 

A warm-up session for a group of seated people. They are in a sportshall with a colourful painted backdrop of an imagined Shetland harbour.

The Eric Liddell Community in Edinburgh set up a new singing group called Eric’s Encore, using their grant to cover costs such as employing a musician to run the weekly group. Up to 10 people attended each week and everyone had a say in the songs they chose to sing. Attendees valued the dementia inclusive approach, and found the sessions to be open,  judgement free and a joyful experience for everyone.


Sea shanties are the main songs sung by the The Shalder Shanty Singers in Shetland. Some of their grant was put to practical use, offering hot soup and a roll to welcome attendees who travel to their weekly sessions, including some travelling from as far away as Unst which includes two ferry crossings. Around 20 crew members make it to each session, and the Shalder Singers are now well connected in Shetland’s community life. 


In Peebles, a dementia-inclusive singing group called Recollective was set up, based in a local sheltered housing complex. Recollective has formed close ties with a local group – Dementia-Friendly Tweeddale – and has a group leader who is an experienced music therapist. 


Musical Minds Inverclyde worked in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland to offer monthly singing sessions for up to 70 people, supported by the Clydeside Singers. Over the past six months they have added to the group singing with opportunities to dance or sing solos.  The only drawback is that the group is so popular they might need to make more space in their venue! 



Our grant funding enabled staff from Alzheimer’s Scotland to start a new group in Galashiels called Memory Lane Music. They said:

“We would not have been able to start the group without the funding, and this has been completely invaluable to us. It has provided the opportunity for local people living with dementia to access a safe, inclusive and welcoming space to sing […]. In addition to offering the opportunity to enjoy music and singing, it has also helped to reduce the risk of social isolation in those who attended and helped the attendees to build an informal friendship network too.”

To learn more about our Network, visit our Dementia Inclusive Singing Network website.