Jersey Alzheimer’s Society is celebrating the success of their latest project, Singing for the Brain with a visit from His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor.

The local charity was one of three main winners at the Barclays Wealth Community Awards 2008 and received a grant to ensure that the recently launched Singing for the Brain scheme could continue. And to celebrate the success of the scheme to date, a special guest, His Excellency, the Lieutenant Governor, will be joining the participants for their regular Friday singing session this week.

The project was launched in June 2008 and because of the popularity and demand for places, external funding was needed. Thanks to Barclays Wealth, the project has been able to run for another successful year.

Singing for the Brain is based on the thought that people with Dementia or Alzheimer’s respond well to music, particularly old classics, as it stimulates memories. The therapeutic sessions offer help, support and a social network to sufferers and carers with the aim of increasing awareness and education, as well as providing an afternoon of fun for all that attend. The sessions combine singing exercise and percussion and are led by a qualified music therapist.

‘We are certainly not a celestial choir,’ said Branch Co-ordinator, Jo Cummins. ‘Many of us can’t sing in tune and we often get the words wrong even when we have them written down in front of us. Sometimes I think it is a race between us and Fiona (the music therapist) to see who gets to the end first.’

She added that the sessions are very lively and enormous fun. ‘It is very moving when you see people who might not be able to communicate verbally tapping their feet in time to the music and then gradually joining in. At the end of the session most of them are up and doing the Hokey-Cokey.’

Currently the scheme has around 40 regulars from three different care homes but often sessions host up to 50 members. All members benefit from the sessions whether it’s just tapping their foot along to the music or getting fully involved. The sessions ultimately aim to access musical memory to restore confidence and enrich lives.

Paul Savery, Country Manager of Barclays Wealth Jersey said: ‘Some of our staff have been along to the sessions to assist and join in with the singing as well! We are delighted our money has been able to make a difference to the Singing for the Brain sessions and we couldn’t be happier with the progress of the scheme. ‘

The Barclays Wealth Community Awards give community projects a helping hand during these tough economic times by giving winners monetary grants to aid all current or future projects. Three charities were chosen out of 45 applications to receive a portion of the £30,000 donated by Barclays Wealth. All the applications were judged by a panel comprised of Paul Savery and Adele Langlois both of Barclays Wealth, Peter Mac of Channel 103 and David Seymour of the Seymour Hotel Group.

The 2009 Barclays Wealth Community Awards will shortly be launching. If you would like an entry form or more information, please contact Adele Langlois at adele.langlois@barclayswealth.com.

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Further information

Lisa Gutcher will be supplying photos from the session on Monday 7th September, as permission could not be obtained for media to be present at the session. Telephone interviews will be available with staff before and after the event if required.

Lisa Gutcher, Image PR                    01534 734444                  lisa.gutcher@imageci.com

Notes to editors:

Barclays Wealth

Arnaud Humblot, Barclays Wealth, Corporate Communications

020 7699 2756 / arnaud.humblot@barclayswealth.com

Jignasa Patel, Barclays Wealth, Corporate Communications

020 7699 2483 / Jignasa.patel@barclayswealth.com

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