Local music charity, soundLINCS, has been awarded £6,000 over 3 years in Power of Music funding to support its work with people living with dementia. The charity, based in Lincoln, will use the money to support the continued facilitation of two soundLINCS UpBEAT! Lincolnshire-based dementia music groups both engaging in community music to support mental and physical wellness.

soundLINCS UpBEAT! has been running since 2021 across Lincolnshire and will support 30 people in these two dementia music groups. This successful application to the Power of Music Fund will enable them to form part of the national network for Music and Dementia, which over the course of three years will work together to evaluate, grow, and share learnings about how to build bridges between the health and social care system and community groups to help take the pressure off health and care services and ensure that more people are able to live well with dementia. Participants of the UpBEAT! Project have described the music sessions as a ‘lifeline’, and carers have reported that UpBEAT! sessions are often the only activity that some participants engage with, enjoying singing and playing even when verbal communication is lost. The Power of Music Fund will enable these sessions to flourish, create and strengthen friendships, boost mood and positive impact on mental and emotional health.

Nikki-Kate Heyes MBE, CEO at soundLINCS, said: “We’re delighted that The Power of Music Fund has supported our work in this way. Now, thanks to funding soundLINCS can continue to provide support for people in Lincolnshire living with dementia, and work as part of the national network to create and sustain more vital support for adults with dementia across Lincolnshire. This is important because there is increasing research into the positive benefits of music-based interventions, such as singing and drumming, in the support and care of those with dementia as well as for their families and carers. Music intervention has been proven to improve cognitive function in people living with dementia, improve quality of life and reduce stress and the risk of long-term depression. Thank you so much for keeping the music flowing and benefiting the lives and wellbeing of those with dementia and their families and carers!”

The Power of Music Fund is being managed by the National Academy for Social Prescribing and has been kickstarted by a £1 million donation from The Utley Foundation. It is also supported by Arts Council England, Music for All,  and other donors, including members of the public. 

The fund builds on the recommendations of the 2022 Power of Music Report, which outlined the benefits that music can have for health and wellbeing – including for people living with dementia. Through the fund, the National Academy for Social Prescribing aims to support grassroots groups providing support through music, and also improve links with healthcare providers, so that people with dementia and their carers can be ‘socially prescribed’ music projects.

Charlotte Osborn-Forde, CEO at the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said: “We’re thrilled to have awarded soundLINCS this funding as part of the Power of Music’s mission to deliver funds to grassroots projects as part of social prescribing, especially in parts of the country where the need is greatest.

“The money can cover basic costs such as room hire and travel, but more importantly, it will provide support for people living with dementia and their families, improving their physical and mental wellbeing and creating moments of joy and connection through music.

The Utley Foundation has been working to make music an integral part of dementia care for ten years through its Music for Dementia campaign.

Sarah Metcalfe, Managing Director at The Utley Foundation, said: “Research shows music can help people living with dementia and their families. More must be done to make it an integral part of dementia care. The Utley Foundation was delighted to kickstart NASP’s Power of Music Fund with £1million and is thrilled that soundLINCS is one of the first organisations to benefit so that local people can benefit.”

To find out more visit https://www.soundlincs.org/ and https://socialprescribingacademy.org.uk/pomfund

Music group celebrates after receiving £6K of funding to keep people living with dementia singing.