Singing for the brain to help with dementia

appeal: Amanda Marriott , left and and Beverley Page-Banks Alzheimers Society who are appealing for volunteers ahead of the launch of 'Singing for the Brain' which will start next year
appeal: Amanda Marriott , left and and Beverley Page-Banks Alzheimers Society who are appealing for volunteers ahead of the launch of 'Singing for the Brain' which will start next year
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A charity is appealing for volunteers to help at singing sessions which helps people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Alzheimer’s Society has secured money from Lancashire County Council to fund the pilot project in Preston.

It will be the first time ‘Singing for the Brain’ sessions have been held in the county but the scheme has proved to be successful elsewhere in the country.

Singing can provide a way for people with dementia, along with their carers, to express themselves and socialise with others in a fun and supportive group.

And the charity said, whereas memories are hard to retrieve, music is especially easy to recall and the activities build on the well-known preserved memory for song and music in the brain.

Beverley Page-Banks, Alzheimer’s Society branch manager, said: “Volunteers are vital in all aspects of our support to people with dementia and their families.

“Singing for the Brain is a unique opportunity to really make a difference.”

The pilot will run for 10 weeks from January 23 and will be held in the Fulwood area.

The sessions will be held in the afternoons and the charity is looking for volunteers who can commit to helping at all 10 sessions.

Roles include helping with refreshments, meeting and greeting the participants, helping with activities, chatting to people, setting up and clearing up after the session.

If the pilot is a success, the charity is hoping to roll out more groups across Lancashire in 2012.

Sam McKenna, Alzheimer’s Society’s Lancashire Volunteering Officer, said: “There are a variety of opportunities for volunteers to get involved in the new Singing for the Brain group and we’d urge anyone thinking about their New Year’s resolution to consider volunteering, and get in touch.”

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or any other type of dementia.

There are 750,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to more than 1 million by 2021. This will soar to 1.7 million by 2050.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Sam McKenna on 01772 718 177 or e mail samantha.mckenna@alzheimers.org.uk.