Luminate’s Dementia Inclusive Singing Network has funded five singing groups to start or continue running singing activities for people living with dementia and their carers.
The grants range between £200 and £1000 and allow singing groups and choirs to purchase equipment, hire spaces or run activities that allow dementia inclusive singing to continue successfully and increase the network of dementia-inclusive groups across Scotland.
The five successful groups are:
- Dementia Friendly Orkney, which will purchase musical instruments and props to help participants engage with activities. They said: “This small grant will enable Dementia Friendly Orkney to be more inclusive for all abilities of people living with dementia. We will use the funding to purchase small hand-held instruments and ribbon wands to tap/shake/wave in time with the music. The hope is this will enable more people to attend the choir long term without pressure to know the lyrics!”
- Feasgar san Taigh Ceilidh, Lewis, Outer Hebrides. Their grant allows them to employ a facilitator, secure a venue and purchase a projector and songsheets for their singing group. They said: “Cabraich Community Arts are so excited to be able to gather people together in An Taigh Ceilidh in Stornoway. This funding will enable us to share and sing Gaelic songs from our culture. They will be gatherings of great joy with a warm exchange of stories and memories. We can’t wait to start.”
- Life Well Lived, Borders. This Biggar group will hire a music therapist and provide extra singing resources for their weekly health and wellbeing singing and activity group. They said: “We support around 30 people from our rurally isolated town, providing a fun stimulating and compassionate get together for folk with many different health and social conditions. This grant will support us in providing high quality and skilled music therapy to the group, with all the health benefits associated with singing.”
- STAND, Fife will hire a musician to run eight intergenerational gatherings in collaboration with St Marie’s Primary School in Kirkcaldy. They said: “We had a marvellous partnership with them which resulted in a show at the Rothes Halls in March. Our next gig will be performing at their school Christmas show. Working as a partnership demonstrates that people living with a diagnosis of dementia can contribute meaningfully to life as well as have fun.”
- Freedom of Mind Community Choir, Falkirk. Their grant will support them to expand their programme through a mix of drop-in sessionsand sing-a-long sessions in local care homes and community settings. They said: “We’re delighted to have this funding to support us to spread joy to those living with dementia through care home performances. We will also be to welcome new members, including those living with dementia and their carers, to brand new drop-in singalong sessions, with familiar and well-loved songs. We can’t wait to get started!”
Luminate’s Dementia Inclusive Singing Network Co-ordinator, Maisie Leddy said:
“We’re thrilled to continue supporting dementia-inclusive singing groups across the country through our Small Grants Programme. These five groups, and many others like them across Scotland, will provide a vital space for creativity and connection through the joy of group singing. All five groups are new to the Dementia Inclusive Singing Network, and we look forward to seeing them develop as our Network continues to grow.
“Ultimately, we aim to increase access to singing opportunities for people affected by dementia, and we are delighted that these grants will do so by enabling the chosen groups to offer engaging singing activities for their local communities.”
The Dementia Inclusive Singing Network offers support to singing groups which have a focus on supporting people who are living with dementia, and for community choirs which include people with dementia among their members. Alongside the Small Grants Programme, the Network helps connect people living with dementia with activities in their local area through its interactive Network map. The Network also offers training and peer-learning opportunities for song leaders and conductors to help make their activities enjoyable and meaningful for people living with dementia.