Burnham-On-Sea’s Music for the Memory group has this week celebrated its seventh anniversary of providing musical activities for local people living with dementia.

The group of people with memory related illnesses meets regularly with carers and relatives at Burnham-On-Sea Baptist Church in College Street.

The group met on Tuesday (September 6th) for a special celebration, as pictured here.

Secretary Julie Skinner says: “The group enables the members to meet in a relaxed environment to perform a variety of songs and simple exercises.”

“This enriches the well being of people at a time when the quality of their lives has been limited by their illness, and the benefits to those who use the service have been well documented generally.”

“The occurrence of group members being able to manage a song when at times unable to manage a conversation is commonplace, and it is widely known that music helps to stimulate memory which is otherwise failing.”

“What was not generally known until recently was that the funding which had been provided by local organisations in order to enable the provision of this service was only available for a limited time.”

”Due to this provision coming to an end it was recently announced that in the absence of further funding, sadly the group would shortly have to fold in Burnham.”

“Discussions rapidly took place among a group of willing volunteers within the group, and it was soon agreed that everything should be done to keep the group meeting regularly, and a community group was quickly formed for this purpose, under the banner ‘Music for the Memory’. This has enabled the group to continue to meet with a minimum of disruption.”

“Members of Burnham Baptist Church went to considerable lengths to re-schedule some of their activities in order to accommodate us.”

“Their kindness and generosity of spirit is of tremendous benefit to the group members, many of whom depend upon the stability of familiar surroundings.”

”We are indeed fortunate to have the use of this wonderful facility as our continued home, and we are grateful to the Church.”

“We were also delighted that Celia Smith kindly agreed to continue to lead the group, further underpinning the familiarity which is so important to many members. Celia is a trained and experienced facilitator who has a wide background in working with people suffering with memory related illnesses, both within the NHS and with the voluntary sector. She also has considerable musical talent.”

”Combining these skills she engages group members both collectively and individually, and the warmth with which Celia leads the sessions is a joy to behold. “

“It is our view that the visible expression on the faces of members at the end of each session requires no explanation, and we are fortunate to have her continued involvement.”

The group meets once every two weeks at The Baptist Church in Burnham, between 2-4pm. For more details, contact musicforthememory@outlook.com

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