• Singing group to offer fun and friendship for local people with dementia thanks to Yorkshire freemasons

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    December 03, 2019
    More than 200 local people with dementia and their carers will take part in the Singing for Memory project, providing fun and friendship and reducing social isolation, thanks to a grant of £70,000 from Yorkshire, West Riding freemasons to Doncaster Community Arts (darts).

    During group sessions, new songs are created using lyrics given by the participants and everyone’s contribution is valued.

    The sessions start and finish with refreshments and a chance to relax and chat, which is highly valued by those who are socially isolated.

    The project supports people from Doncaster with dementia, and their carers. This includes adults who are at mild to moderate stages of the condition, including those with Young Onset dementia, between 30- 64 years.

    darts are also particularly keen to encourage Black, Asian and minority ethnic people to come along. The charity are forming relationships with organisations that serve these communities.

    There are nearly 2,700 people in Doncaster alone who are registered as living with dementia, and half as many again are believed to be undiagnosed.

    Evidence from previous projects shows that a wider group of indirect beneficiaries also share in the positive impact of the group sessions. People with dementia will return home in a noticeably better mood, which makes life easier for families and carers.

    People who had partners who previously attended the groups but have since died are also very welcome to continue attending, which is often seen as a lifeline.

    The grant from Yorkshire, West Riding freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

    Assistant Director for darts, Lucy Robertshaw, said:

    “We’re very grateful to Yorkshire freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow us to help hundreds of local people with dementia and their carers.

    “Singing for Memory has been a big success and we look forward to introducing it to people from all parts of our diverse community.”

    Neil Park from Yorkshire, West Riding freemasons, said:

    “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help darts with its excellent Singing for Memory project.

    “Services for people with dementia are often lacking, or fail to reach those who need it, especially within ethnic minority communities. darts are doing a lot to make sure their groups are open to everyone.” 
    Adrian Horan, Communications Officer
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