Rhythm not Blues

Chester le Street

Your story

A group of friendly volunteers will welcome those with memory problems or long term illnesses, together with their carers, to enjoy an hour of singing, dancing and fun.

Group introduction

We are a group of volunteers who have now formed a strong friendship, through our passion for bringing joy through song and fun to people primarily with dementia. We met through volunteering for a national charity, but earlier this year we decided that we would like to provide a facility, without the constraints of a corporate organisation, and in May we held our first session.

We are led by an inspirational music therapist, Catherine, who introduces everyone who attends to the joy of singing. Our attendees, including those with dementia and their family or careers, absorb themselves in the music and dance. It is important to the carers that can be in an environment that is safe and where people accept the changes in their loved ones behaviour and personality, without judgement.

Our aim is to reach out to the wider community to welcome and include anyone wishing to have a new adventure.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

Our music therapist is presently providing her services for free. She is the driving force that brings us together and guides everyone during the session. As yet, we are not having enough paying attendees to cover the cost of the hall rental and be able to pay her. We have 20 regular attendees, but we are reaching out to the local community to invite people along.

Our aim is to encourage anyone with a long term illness, dementia or the lonely, to come along. The hall we use could accommodate at least 50 people.

We are also using our own personal laptops to provide slides that hold the words to the songs, they are then projected in to the hall. We would also like help in setting up a website and other social media – as we are people of a certain age who have never done this.

"Catherine is an inspirational, professional leader who with the help of talented volunteers, has provided happiness to people affected by dementia - Malcolm Bath, carer to his wife with dementia."