show goes on for dementia choir

A dementia-friendly choir is making sure the show goes on despite lockdown.

Northern roots Hot started a dementia-friendly music activity project last year for people in County Durham. It proved incredibly popular and was boosted by a £2,870 from CDCF’s community grants programme.

After performing at a festival in Easington, the choir has continued to raise the roof. And through lockdown it has been a lifeline for singers and their carers.

Choir leader Bethany Elen Coyle said:

“This was all filmed and recorded during social isolation as a way for us to send a positive, supportive message to our communities and to those living well with Dementia that although we may be isolated, but we are not alone.”

Watch the choir in action

Adam Collerton from Northern Roots said:

“Research has shown that people with dementia are really responsive to music and it can improve their mood as they remember songs from years ago. They may not remember what the washing machine does – but music can transform them.

“Choirs are very sociable. The people we work with can lead isolated lives but this gives them something to look forward to and brings structure to the week.  

“The needs of people with dementia have increased due to Covid, because they’re more stressed and more isolated. They are at high risk and many have died. Then there’s the fear of going out again. Carers are taking the weight of all that because they’re also automatically having to shield. I think they will need the online choir for at least the next six months.  

“It’s really important that we give people the confidence to come back to group events.” 

25 years

County Durham Community Foundation is 25 years old. In that time, 45 million in grants has been given to groups like Northern Roots.