Music for Thought & Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance

March 1, 2017

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On Monday 27 February, Saffron Hall Trust held a special event to celebrate and launch two innovative community initiatives.

Over the past 6 weeks, Saffron Hall has been working together with expert musicians from Wigmore Hall to bring Music for Thought to Saffron Walden – a creative music course for people living with dementia, and their carers. The project uses music-making to enable people with dementia to communicate, explore and share creative ideas amongst the group, resulting in a series of beautiful pieces of music & song inspired by trees and nature. The event on Monday saw the Music for Thought group share some their work in a performance to 100 members of the local community, including retailers, healthcare professionals, friends & family. Lorna Rolfe (High Sheriff of Essex) and Cllr Richard Freeman ( Deputy Mayor) attended.

The Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance was founded in 2014, and yesterday was their official launch. The SWDAA is set up to help local shops, businesses and service providers:

• Recognise the signs of dementia;
• Understand how dementia can impact those who live with it;
• Make small changes that will help people living with dementia continue to be included in, and contribute to, our community.

With almost 2000 people in Uttlesford predicted to have dementia by 2030, the care of dementia has never been more important. Saffron Hall Trust is proud to support the Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance in their mission to make Saffron Walden a dementia-friendly town, and the Music for Thought pilot project is Saffron Hall Trust’s first step towards inclusive music-making for all.

This Music for Thought project has had generous support from Waitrose, Uttlesford District Council, Saffron Walden Round Table and the SWDAA.

Natalie Ellis from Saffron Hall says “Dementia is one of the biggest challenges of this century, and our aim with the event was to galvanise enthusiasm amongst the community so that we can move on and tackle it together. At Saffron Hall we recongnise that music & the arts can play a vital role, helping to bring joy and a renewed sense of identity to those living with dementia, and their carers.”

Yesterday marked the beginning, both for Saffron Hall Trust’s community programme and the SWDAA, and we welcome the public’s support in our initiatives.

We welcome those who are interested in supporting or participating in Saffron Hall’s arts & dementia programme, please contact Natalie Ellis: natalie.ellis@saffronhall.com

For more information about the SWDAA, including how to help, contact: info@saffronwaldendaa.org.uk