Musical Connections say:
Musical Connections seeks to enable vulnerable and isolated adults, particularly older people and those living with dementia, to lead happier, healthier lives through participating in community music groups and choirs. We are based in York, and were delighted to receive a donation of £1,500 from the Purey Cust Trust in February this year.
This money has helped us to continue running 10 weekly music sessions across York in care-homes, sheltered housing schemes, community centres and, most recently, GP surgeries. Alongside these weekly sessions, we have run several intergenerational projects and events with local schools and students, ranging from ‘Big Sings’ and concerts, where our participants have performed alongside student musicians, to workshops in care-homes and sheltered housing schemes with primary school children. Across all the different groups and intergenerational events, more than 250 beneficiaries have taken part so far this year, alongside a similar number of children and young people, and new participants are joining us all the time.
Since February, we have also been able to increase the number of volunteers working with us, particularly ‘music buddies’ who provide extra support at sessions. Another significant development is the integration of free transport into our service, a move which has had a measurable impact on the number of people able to attend sessions and events.
Without our groups, many of our participants tell us that they have little or no other regular social contact, and we know that Musical Connections has made a huge difference to their lives – over 90% of participants interviewed this year have reported improved wellbeing, new friendships made, increased confidence and greater life satisfaction. Indeed, some even report that they have visited their GP less since joining their group or choir.
A participant’s relative (who lives in Spain) summed up what the group means to his mum:
You can only imagine the difference it has made when you consider that, before joining the group, in certain weeks, it is possible she could have been left in her bungalow, on her own, without seeing anyone for the whole week’
and in the words of another:
I feel much happier with life