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Age UK Cornwall celebrates after receiving funding to keep people Singing!

Published on 14 May 2024 12:46 PM

AgeUK Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly celebrates after receiving funding to keep people living with dementia singing

Age UK Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly has been awarded £6,000, over 3 years, by Power of Music funding to support its work with people living with dementia and their carers, in the community and via its hubs in Newquay, Falmouth & St Austell. Age UK Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly, based in Truro, will use the money to both expand and introduce new, meaningful activities for people living with dementia & their carers including karaoke & movement; taking clients to music venues; playing instruments/accompany music/choirs; and introducing music therapy, all aptly named “Our DJ’s (Dementia Journeys)”. 

Linda Whittaker, Dementia Community Engagement Worker, said: “We’re delighted that The Power of Music Fund has supported our work in this way. Now, thanks to funding we can expand our services and introduce new activities for everyone, and collaboratively (including local schools, colleges university & music therapy providers).  This is important because we know the positive impact music has for people living with dementia, and we can now offer a variety of activities to engage, excite and educate over these 3 years”

The Power of Music Fund is being managed by the National Academy for Social Prescribing and has been kickstarted by a £1 million donation from The Utley Foundation. It is also supported by Arts Council England, Music for All,  and other donors, including members of the public. 

The fund builds on the recommendations of the 2022 Power of Music Report, which outlined the benefits that music can have for health and wellbeing – including for people living with dementia. Through the fund, the National Academy for Social Prescribing aims to support grassroots groups providing support through music, and also improve links with healthcare providers, so that people with dementia and their carers can be ‘socially prescribed’ music projects.

Charlotte Osborn-Forde, CEO at the National Academy for Social Prescribing, said: “We’re thrilled to have awarded Age UK Cornwall this funding as part of the Power of Music’s mission to deliver funds to grassroots projects as part of social prescribing, especially in parts of the country where the need is greatest.

“The money can cover basic costs such as room hire and travel, but more importantly, it will provide support for people living with dementia and their families, improving their physical and mental wellbeing and creating moments of joy and connection through music."

The Utley Foundation has been working to make music an integral part of dementia care for ten years through its Music for Dementia campaign.

Sarah Metcalfe, Managing Director at The Utley Foundation, said: “Research shows music can help people living with dementia and their families. More must be done to make it an integral part of dementia care. The Utley Foundation was delighted to kickstart NASP’s Power of Music Fund with £1million and is thrilled that AgeUK Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly is one of the first organisations to benefit so that local people can benefit.”

To find out more about Age UK Cornwall, please visit Welcome to Age UK Cornwall and


About the Power of Music Fund

The Power of Music Fund offers small grants to local organisations that use music to support people living with dementia and their carers, including dementia choirs. It will also support a Centre of Excellence which will test new approaches to embedding music as part of dementia care and design new models of care which could be scaled and spread across England. The fund has been kickstarted by a £1 million grant from the Utley Foundation, alongside funding from Arts Council England, Music for All and a range of private donations - and NASP aims to raise £5 million for the fund in total.

Through the fund, NASP will also carry out research and evaluation to understand how health systems can work with community groups to ensure diverse and sustainable music provision for people living with dementia, their carers and families.

About the Music for Dementia campaign and the Utley Foundation

Music for Dementia is the cross-sector campaign to make music an integral part of dementia care, established by the Utley Foundation.

Music for Dementia undertakes public engagement activity, grant-making and policy research to deliver a future where everyone knows music can help dementia and music is integrated into dementia care. To date more than 200 organisations have been involved including charities, the NHS, care sector and music industry plus thousands of individual supporters, many with lived experience.

The Utley Foundation is a private charitable trust founded in 2014 by Neil and Nicky Utley, to make a difference to issues close to the hearts of them and their family.

About the National Academy for Social Prescribing

The National Academy for Social Prescribing was established as a charity in 2019 to champion social prescribing. Our work includes: 

- Connecting the social prescribing system, through training and consultancy, resources and our Champions scheme for clinicians and health workers. 

- Creating innovative partnerships, from local to international.  

 - Boosting investment for frontline organisations delivering social prescribing, including through our Power of Music Fund. 

- Building the evidence base, working with academics and experts around the world. 

- Raising the profile of social prescribing through national campaigns.

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. From 2023 to 2026 we will invest over £467 million of public money from Government and an estimated £250 million from The National Lottery each year to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

About Music for All

The charity Music for All has over 27 years’ experience of supporting disadvantaged music makers. We change lives across the UK by donating musical instruments, awarding cash grants, offering free 'Learn to Play' experiences and promoting the life enhancing benefits of making music. Our mission is to improve health and wellbeing and ensure equality of access for deprived and marginalised communities and individuals alongside supporting music educators. We passionately believe in the ability of music to improve lives.

We are thrilled to be a partner of the Power of Music fund and will be awarding grants of up to £2K to underserved community groups and support providers using music to assist people living with dementia.  These awards will feature in our regular awards programme and target deprived and marginalised communities, in line with the charity’s core values.