Dementia choir hitting the right note in Larne

Larne's dementia choir meets weekly.
Larne's dementia choir meets weekly.

A Larne choir for people living with dementia has featured on the BBC’s John Toal Show.

The ‘This Is Me’ choir was set up last year as part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Dementia Friendly Communities programme and is funded by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

The choir is open to people living with dementia, carers, friends and family. It meets every Wednesday, in Larne Leisure Centre, from 3.00 pm until 4.00 pm.

“Dementia champion” Ald. Gerardine Mulvenna said: “The choir offers a fantastic way to socialise, have fun and just help you feel better after a good old sing song.

“Dementia can often mean people feel isolated and we wanted to offer a place where people can relax and talk to people who may be going through the same thing as them, or to offer carers an opportunity to meet people in the same situation as them.

“We sing all types of songs from traditional songs, to old hits, to the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman, so there’s something for everyone. You all sing as part of a large group, so even if you think you can’t hold a note, it’s all a bit of fun.

“Dementia-friendly communities are vital in helping people live well with dementia and remain a part of their community.

“Council is fully committed to ensuring our older generations are welcomed, supported and respected. With an ageing population, our community plan outlines ways to ensure that services reflect this and this initiative is truly putting people first by educating everyone about dementia.

Nicola Arbuckle, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, said: “The Health and Wellbeing Service are delighted to be working in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Council to develop a dementia friendly singing programme.

“The NHSCT has provided funding until the end of March and hopes that the programme will continue longer term. Loneliness and social isolation is a key health priority. Singing is helping to address this issue in a fun and creative way.”