News - Supporting people with dementia through music

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St Luke’s Hospice has been running regular music therapy sessions for people with dementia and their loved ones, helping them connect through music.

The sessions have been made possible through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), with Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) accessing funding from Cheshire West and Chester Council and distributing grants to local charitable organisations to help them with creative projects.

After getting the project underway at the start of 2024, St Luke’s Hospice has supported three separate groups to get involved with the sessions over an eight-week period.

Bernie, whose husband has attended the sessions, said: “When we were first told about the sessions, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but, as always at St Luke’s, we were made very welcome and Jess, who runs the group, is great with Jeff and everyone else.

“The group is quite small, which Jeff prefers, and Jess focuses on him when it’s his turn to shine, encouraging him to participate.

“When I watch him beating a rhythm on the drum, it’s like seeing the real Jeff, my Jeff and I love it.”

Jess, Music Therapist at St Luke’s Hospice, added: “I must say that this is one of the best and most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had.

“The best part is seeing the connection between people with dementia and their loved ones.

“It’s really good getting to know people through music as their personalities come out when they play.

“When people first come to the sessions, it can be daunting as they might not know what music therapy is, but they become a group, getting to know each other and talking to each other.

“There’s a lot of banter in the group and you can see their relationships growing.

“Everyone involved is so grateful for the grant that has made this project possible.”

CWVA manages many different funding pots, helping community sector organisations access funding.

There’s also a dedicated funding section on the CWVA website, providing the chance for organisations to search pots that they might be able to access.

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