Case Studies

AWARD WINNER: Songs for You

  • Artform(s):
    Singing and Music
  • Commissioner(s):
    Arts for Health Team, South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Duration:
    2010 to date
  • Health Need(s):
    Older People, Dementia Care, Carers
Summary:
Award winning project Songs for You is for people with dementia and their carers to come together to sing, laugh, dance and enjoy the joy of music and singing in a safe, welcoming and understanding environment. Songs for You won the WMAHW Arts & Health Awards 2014 Community Wellbeing Award.

Project Information

Songs for You is an engagement opportunity - provided by Arts for Health Team at the South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust - for people with dementia and their carers to come together to sing, laugh, dance and enjoy the joy of music and singing in a safe, welcoming and understanding environment. Led by professional arts in health practitioners and musicians, the sessions have created their own small supportive communities.

“The singing sessions are the highlight of the month for my mother. It is a joy to bring her to this group which is so relaxed, that my mother not only sings her heart out but also dances and communicates with other people with dementia, their carers and helpers. I feel she benefits hugely socially.” Debi, a Carer (see below to read more carers' responses to Songs for You)

Songs for You began in 2010 in Shrewsbury – through a pilot project to investigate interest in singing for people with dementia – plus their carers. The pilot came on the back of much research in the public domain about the benefit of singing and music, not just for mental health but particularly older people with dementia.

Through partnership working and consultation with a range of third sector organisations plus support from our clinical Trust staff, we have been able to expand delivery of this project in other areas of the Trust patch. Extended work in South Staffordshire has been supported by the local authority arts team, Carers Association, Alzheimer’s Society and other local groups to identify potential participants who would benefit from the sessions.

Through this development, we have successfully raised funds to maintain our existing projects in Shrewsbury and Cannock and to further develop into Stafford and Tamworth. It has been essential to develop good relationships with organisations, clinical experts in the field and to foster our wealth of professional artists and musicians to make this a success. We have encouraged a band of volunteers to support the project plus musicians and service users who are benefitting from the project. The project has the support of over 200 service users and carers plus the professional support of a range of the partner groups. It has increased Arts for Health's ability to deliver creative participation to more people in a wider area of the Trust.

Click here to read carers' responses to Songs for You.
See images from Songs for You Shrewsbury and Staffordshire sessions.