Big Lottery grant for Horsham-based New Harmonie

New Harmonie perform at one of their workshops
New Harmonie perform at one of their workshops

Horsham-based New Harmonie has been awarded another Big Lottery grant to use live music as a care intervention for people with a dementia.

In 2018, quintets will visit The Laurels Day Care Centre, Rustington; Skylark House, Horsham; Mill View, East Grinstead; and Maidenbower Day Care Centre in Crawley.

Geoff Richardson, who leads the group, said: “The group will play for three or four consecutive weeks in each venue with a programme of gentle exercises, singing, music making, dancing, reminiscing and relaxation.”

He continued: “New Harmonie has now run more than 210 workshops in more than 30 Sussex residential homes and day-care centres for those with a dementia. Patients where they are able, staff, family carers and players evaluate each session to demonstrate to funders that these sessions do make a difference.”

Comments from participants include: “I enjoy the dancing. We are looking forward to next week”; “Enjoyed playing the drum – relaxes my muscles”; “Very good indeed – my kind of music”; “Makes me recall the Starlight Dance Hall Crawley. Can’t remember if there was live music but there were lots of girls!”; “I really appreciate your visits”; “I absolutely loved it and always do. It is a very cheerful morning and it is lovely to see everyone smiling and joining in. I think about it for the rest of the day.”

Geoff Richardson added: “Without the support of the Big Lottery Fund and other foundations we could not bring professional musicians, who have special interpersonal skills working with dementia, into these Sussex centres.

“Our work also extends into hospices where we again see the benefit of quality live music as a care intervention.”

To find out more about New Harmonie wind ensemble, their music and their projects visit newharmonie.org.uk.

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