Head of Liverpool Office
One of the things I’m most proud of at Quilter Cheviot is our work on raising awareness of dementia. There are more than 850,000 people living with the condition in the UK today and that number is set to rise significantly in the coming years.
As part of our efforts to raise awareness of dementia, last year we announced our support for The Brain Charity, giving the charity £150,000 of funding over three years. This money allows The Brain Charity to run a series of singing and dance workshops for people living with dementia. Both activities help to stimulate the brain and keep it active, and so help to raise quality of life for people living with the condition.
Nine months on from first partnering with The Brain Charity, I’m pleased to report that they’re making excellent progress on setting up their workshops for people living with dementia and the wider three year programme. The singing workshop is run by a dedicated music charity, Music In Mind, which specialises in using music for health benefits. The dance workshop effectively delivers physiotherapy sessions for those living with dementia, with Merseyside Dance Initiative running this.
The Brain Charity has worked with medical experts in their fields for each workshop, including specialist therapists from the NHS, as well as Dr Clarissa Giebel from the University of Liverpool and Grahame Smith from Liverpool John Moores University. There is also talk about doing a conference next year, to discuss developments from the workshops, and to see how this can be translated into wider initiatives.
There is a growing body of evidence that supports using music to help people living with dementia. Music reduces the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which over time can damage our brains and bodies more widely. Reducing stress is a good way to help someone living with dementia as it helps to improve their quality of life. There is also evidence that music activates different pathways in the brain compared to speech, giving people an alternative way to enjoy social interaction. This is particularly important if people living with dementia develop speech impediments.
The Brain Charity hopes to create a range of tools and materials in future, helping to leave a lasting legacy from the workshop sessions, and allowing their work to have benefits beyond the immediate Liverpool area. It’s an excellent example of how local businesses can make a positive impact on their area, and one I very much look forward to continuing to support over the next few years.