Wigmore Hall wants to make a significant impact and disseminate this extraordinary work, which uses music to unlock the person behind the dementia, and as a tool to work with carers and staff in a care setting. We are looking for help so that more people, whether living with dementia, or caring for someone with dementia, can benefit.
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Transforming dementia care and communications through music: Wigmore Hall has taken over the management and development of Music for Life, a pioneering programme of interactive, creative music workshops for people with dementia. Work takes place in residential homes, hospitals, extra care housing and day care centres. The project aims both to enhance the quality of life of its participants and to demonstrate to staff the emotional, social and physical potential of people in their care. Its focus is on people who can be isolated and disempowered as a result of the advanced stage of their dementia. The project takes place in partnership with health, social care and dementia specialist organisations for dementia, Jewish Care, NHS Westminster and Westminster Adult Services. An major presentation at Wigmore Hall in May 2009 brought the project into national prominence, and was honoured by an address from Music for Life's Royal Patron, HRH Princess Alexandra, a keen supporter of the work. There are also two new Patrons, John Suchet and Elisabeth Anderson, both of whom are prominent spokespeople for Music for Life and for dementia awareness in general. There is enormous potential in this work, and Wigmore Hall is committed to maximising its resources and connections so that this project, which has already impacted people with dementia and carers across London, can grow and thrive. Currently, workshops take place in 6 settings across London, and one in Brighton in 2010. The project has reached a pivotal moment in its development, with a growing core of musicians, and new partnerships with agencies and charities who provide dementia care, and training for both care staff and musicians. Our aim is to gradually build the project in scope: this is sensitive work, and it is paramount to have solid relationships with each setting prior to the workshops taking place. Our total annual budget for the project is ¬£86,000 which covers broadly, the cost of providing 8 workshops in 6 care settings, a part time project manager, and training for both care staff and musicians. We have raised nearly ¬£55,000 to date.
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