The Salvation Army launches Carnforth singing group aimed at people living with dementia

published on 1 Jul 2019

The Salvation Army has launched a new singing initiative called ‘Singing by Heart’ with Carnforth’s inaugural session taking place on Monday, July 1. ‘Singing by Heart’, which encourages people living with dementia and their carers to sing classic songs and well-known hymns together, will take place from 2:00 pm at the Salvation Army Carnforth, located on Preston Street.

‘A glad heart makes a cheerful face’ is the motto of the singing group and people living with dementia often feel vulnerable and isolated, whilst their carers can feel in need of reassurance and support.

The ‘Singing by Heart’ session will take place on the first Monday of every month in the form of a drop-in and is 50 pence to attend with refreshments and cake provided during the one hour sing-along, welcome to anyone living with dementia and their carers.

Territorial Envoy Gay Tonks, leader of The Salvation Army Carnforth said: “With the recent rise in people being diagnosed as living with dementia we wanted to utilise our building and facilities to support those living with the condition and their carers.

“Dementia can be very isolating but music can be a communication tool for everyone, it is stored in the brain and we hope our Singing by Heart sessions will give people in the local area a reason to get out of the house and meet new people.”

The Alzheimer’s Society estimate that there are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this number is predicted to increase to over 1 million by 2025. On learning this, The Salvation Army created the ‘Singing by Heart’ programme to provide a way for those living with dementia to recall happy memories from their past.

Songs featuring in the Singing by Heart sessions include ‘This Little Light Of Mine’ and ‘All Things Bright And Beautiful’ as well as popular songs ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ and ‘Rock Around The Clock’ with the session culminating with ‘Bring Me Sunshine’.

Gay added: “We have always been known in the area for our youth work and so wanted to open our doors, and hearts, to a wider group, addressing the needs of the elderly within our community.

“The Singing by Heart sessions come as part of the revamp of our Monday Fellowship programme which has a range of activities for likeminded members of the community; from Craft and Chatter to Lunch Club.”

By providing the ‘Singing by Heart’ programme, The Salvation Army Carnforth enables a relaxing social activity that offers a safe place for participants to enjoy themselves and revisit long lost memories whilst also allowing carers to have an opportunity to socialise and develop a support network of other people in similar situations.