Musicians from Saffron Hall to support those with dementia in Uttlesford

PUBLISHED: 11:41 13 August 2017

Together in Sound pilot at Saffron Hall. Picture: HOLLY CASSIDY

Together in Sound pilot at Saffron Hall. Picture: HOLLY CASSIDY

use agreed for together in sound project

The way music can unlock memories is being played out in a new initiative for people suffering from dementia and their carers in Uttlesford.

Arts charity Saffron Hall Trust has linked up with Anglia Ruskin University to launch free music therapy groups.

It is hoped Together in Sound, which carried out a successful pilot project earlier this year, will make a positive difference.

It is estimated that there will be an 80% rise in dementia cases in Uttlesford by 2030.

The initiative will start in October and run for ten weeks at the Salvation Army Hall in Saffron Walden.

There will be opportunities to sing, play and listen to live music led by music therapists from the university and visiting professional musicians from Saffron Hall.

Sessions will conclude with an informal sharing and celebration event with friends and family.

Natalie Ellis, director of Saffron Hall learning and participation, said: “Dementia is a disempowering and isolating condition that is on the increase. Together in Sound marks Saffron Hall’s long-term commitment to meeting social care challenges through innovative arts experiences.

“Music has the profound ability to unlock memories, and can be an incredible source of joy and comfort for people living with dementia and those around them.”

Claire Molyneux, lecturer in music therapy at Anglia Ruskin and registered music therapist for Together in Sound, said: “Research at Anglia Ruskin has shown the sustained benefits of a music therapy programme for people with dementia.

“Music therapy can help to break down the isolation often experienced by people living with dementia and their carers. Through providing opportunities for nonverbal communication, social interaction and engagement in creative experiences, we hope these music therapy groups will help to create a sense of belonging and community for participants.”

Saffron Hall is holding a taster session on Friday, September 22 for sufferers and their carers only. Apply to www.saffronhall.com/togetherinsound or by calling 01799 588 545.

It expects the autumn group to be over-subscribed and will run more sessions in the spring.

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