Wigan's Salvation Army creates singing group to help people living with dementia and their carers

A Wigan charity has set up a monthly singing group to encourage people living with dementia to revisit memories locked in history.

By Sian Jones
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 3:45 pm

The initiative called Singing by Heart, which is hosted by the Salvation Army, sees attendees sing classic songs and well-known hymns.

The group takes place on the third Monday of each month at the church and charity’s community centre in Scholes.

The next session will be held on Monday, May 16, which is the start of national Dementia Awareness Week with celebrations taking place across the country.

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Singing by Heart hosted by the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is extending the invitation to everyone to come along and join in.

Sessions start at 11.45 am on a drop-in basis and includes a soup and a roll lunch plus refreshments for a small donation of £2.50 and welcomes anyone living with dementia and their carers to reminisce in a safe space.

Songs featuring in the Singing by Heart sessions include this little light of mine and all things bright and beautiful as well as popular songs somewhere over the rainbow and rock around the clock with the session culminating with bring me sunshine.

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Major Alison Lewis, joint church leader of The Salvation Army in Wigan said: “Singing by Heart is a brilliant way to promote living well with dementia and we hope that in every session we can bring a boost to someone’s day.

"The songs stimulate good memories but also bring a smile to everyone’s face which is now more important than ever.

"In recent years everyone has been forced at times into isolation and for those living with dementia it can make them even more vulnerable, so our arms and doors are open to welcome all.

“We don’t get up and perform but we do sing and laugh and reminisce and crucially the group supports people and understands situations that like-minded others may also be experiencing day to day.

"There is a wonderful mix of songs, good friendly conversation and we often break mid-time for other activities to aid co-ordination when music has rekindled some movement skills.”

‘A glad heart makes a cheerful face’ is the motto of the singing group and people living with dementia often feel vulnerable and isolated, while their carers can feel in need of reassurance and support.