Dementia sufferers target of music drive

An OPERA company is helping to explore the positive impact of music on the lives of people suffering from dementia.

Through a joint venture between Opera North and Bradford District Care Trust, professionals will conduct creative community workshops for people with dementia to investigate the links between music, increased wellbeing and quality of life.

The head of older people’s mental health services at the trust, Neil Bryson, said: “As a trust we are always looking for innovative ways of delivering our services and this is just one example of how we are pushing the boundaries in local dementia care.

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“By engaging staff and service users in meaningful activity, not only are we raising awareness of dementia, we are helping individuals communicate and connect with people around them.”

The two organisations are bringing together clinical and arts professionals to create a programme using live musicians and singers to spark memories through music for people with dementia.

The head of education at Opera North, Rebecca Walsh, said: “Through its pioneering education programme Opera North provides the region with an artistic and musical resource which reaches far beyond the theatre walls to engage with those who may not be able to attend performances.

“This project brings together people who may be isolated and enables people with dementia to participate in music and the arts in a way which has a real impact on their overall wellbeing.”

A concert to launch the partnership and assist in raising funds for the project will take place on May 9 at 7.30pm in the Howard Assembly Room, Leeds. A choir of up to 60 care trust staff, service users and carers will perform songs from opera and musicals alongside Opera North singers Fflur Wyn and Mark Le Brocq.

To book tickets email [email protected] or call 0113 223 3565.