Dementia-friendly Christmas Concert announced

Everyone is invited to a special dementia-friendly carol service we’ve organised at St Mary’s Church in Barnes.

The service is the first of its kind to be held locally. Whilst everyone is welcome to come, small adjustments will be made to make sure that people living with dementia and their families or carers feel welcome and comfortable.

It will be short, informal, and use familiar carols and tunes that everybody knows. Choir members will sit amongst the audience to encourage people to participate and the order of service will contain all the words so that people don’t have difficulty finding the right carol.

There will be a quiet area where guests can go if they need some time out.
Christmas refreshments will be served at the end of the concert.

The Rector of St Mary’s, Rev’d Richard Sewell, said “We know we need to do more
to support people with dementia to continue to feel welcome at the church and this initiative is a good place to start to help St Mary’s Church and the local area become more dementia-friendly.”

The Dover House Singers number many dementia friends amongst its members and
regularly sings at dementia cafes or care homes. Musical director, Carl Speck said “many people living with dementia enjoy a good sing and will often remember words and songs even when other memories are lost.”

The idea originated as part of the dementia friendly village project that Barnes
Community Association has been promoting to help to create a more inclusive
environment for people living with dementia. The concert is being sponsored by the Barnes Community Association.

Sanchi Murison, project co-ordinator, added, “We want to create a positive and
friendly atmosphere so that even if people don’t remember the details of the event they are left with positive and happy feelings. We hope that people supported by local charities such as FiSH, Regenerate Rise, Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK will be able to come as well as other local people. It’s open to everyone”.

The concert is on 21 December 2017 from 2-3pm, with refreshments to follow, at St Mary’s Church, Church Road Barnes, SW13 9HL.

You’ll have several chances to catch us in concert this December, including a concert on the evening of Saturday 9th December. Full details will be revealed on this site soon.

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Saturday at the Sunflower Cafe

We were lucky enough to be invited back to sing at the Sunflower Cafe recently.

It’s a monthly gatherings where people with dementia and their friends can meet for afternoon tea in the company of others in a similar situation.

Our songbook of old favourites once again proved very popular and we hope to return soon.

Thanks to Tanya Murphy and Monireh Jassat for the photos.

Singalong with Musical Hits

Over 60 people crammed into the St Margaret’s Church Hall in Putney on Wednesday 29 March for a singalong of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs, led by our musical director Carl Speck. Particular highlights were Memory from Cats, and Don’t Cry for me Argentina from Evita.

The evening, one of a series of community events, was free to attend and enjoyed by all. With many new faces, we’d be thrilled to see some new regular members and would particularly like a few more men to come along.

For the last two years the choir has supported Re-generate Rise with fundraising activities and also regularly performs at dementia cafés where the repertoire focuses on songs that everyone will know and can join in.