Manchester Camerata's Music In Mind Music Cafe With Andy Burnham

08/05/2024 Greater Manchester is to become the UK's first Centre of Excellence for music and dementia, hosted by Manchester Camerata

Funding totalling over £1 million has been awarded through the Power of Music Fund, set up by the National Academy for Social Prescribing, Arts Council England and The Utley Foundation. The Fund is also awarding small grants to 70 grassroots music and dementia projects across the UK and will support more than 5,500 people in total.

We are delighted to announce that Manchester will become the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Music and Dementia, as part of the Power of Music Fund.  

Hosted by Manchester Camerata and backed by more than £1 million, including from Arts Council England, The Utley Foundation, Mayor  Andy Burnham and NHS Manchester, this pioneering initiative will show how prescribing music to people living with dementia can improve quality of life, reduce loneliness and take unnecessary pressure off the NHS.

This vital funding will enable Manchester Camerata and the Alzheimer’s Society to use their research-based music therapy programmes – Music in Mind (Camerata) and Singing for the Brain (Alzheimer’s Society) to offer musical support to people living with dementia across all of Greater Manchester.

Starting in October 2024, the funding will support three years of direct musical support activities across all of Greater Manchester's 10 boroughs. Together they will collaborate with the University of Manchester and the NHS to undertake anonymised data-driven research into the impact and power that these music sessions have for people living with dementia.

Manchester Camerata and The Alzheimer’s Society will recruit, nurture and train a volunteer and community workforce of 300 ‘Music Champions’ who will be trained to deliver the Music Cafes, helping to support over 1000 people living with dementia in Greater Manchester.

The long-term goal of the Centre of Excellence is to use the knowledge and research built up over the next three years to analyse how the use of music in dementia care can reduce use of health and care services whilst improving quality of their life. We aim to appoint further Centres of Excellence over the next two years.

We launched The Power of Music Fund last year to promote music as a social prescription for people living with dementia and their carers. It was kickstarted by £1 million from the Utley Foundation, alongside support from Arts Council England, Music for All and private donations. Further rounds of funding will be announced soon.

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