Two music programmes designed to provide support to people with dementia and their carers have been launched by The National Academy For Social Prescribing (NASP).
The £5m Power Of Music Fund has been established to distribute small grants to grassroots dementia choirs and music groups, with support from organisations including Utley Foundation, Arts Council England and Music For All.
Applications for the fund open on 22 November 22, providing money to cover basic costs, including room hire, transport and refreshments.
One grant of £500k will be available for a new Centre of Excellence, which will test new approaches to embedding music as part of dementia care, gather evidence of cost savings for the NHS, and design new models of care which could be scaled up and spread across England.
Already active is the Music Can website, which aims to help people living with dementia, carers and practitioners feel confident about using music as part of care, offering a directory of support, playlists, music activities and advice.
The platform builds on recommendations from last year’s Power of Music report and has been led by Universal Music UK and developed by Boston Consulting Group.
Speaking about the launch, Charlotte Osborn-Forde, CEO at NASP, said: “Music can be a lifeline for people living with dementia and their carers, creating moments of joy and connection when so much else is hard to cope with.
“It is the perfect example of social prescribing and something that can have long-lasting impact on people’s wellbeing and take pressure off the NHS.
“But dementia choirs and local projects often find it hard to keep going from one month to the next, and they are rarely well connected to wider healthcare services, meaning lots of people miss out on the benefits."
“We want to help make music a standard part of dementia care – with doctors, link workers, and others offering music-based activities and referring people to the Music Can platform.”