Music and dementia charity Playlist for Life receives £1.6m of National Lottery funding

The Sunday Post 


The money, raised by players for good causes, is being distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Founded by Scots broadcaster Sally Magnusson following the death of her mother, who lived with dementia, Playlist for Life teaches families and care staff how to create a unique personal playlist of the soundtrack to a person’s life.

Research has shown the positive impact music can have on people with the condition, including reductions in the use of medication and increased connections with family and friends.

To celebrate the grant, Playlist for Life will be promoting Musical Teas in communities across the UK in the run up to BBC Music Day on 26 September.

Anyone who wants to host a Musical Tea can sign up for a free Musical Tea Pack from the charity’s website.

Playlist For Life has also been advising the BBC on their Music Memories website, which helps people test and find musical memories by browsing 30-second snippets of thousands of tracks arranged in specially curated playlists.

Sally Magnusson said: “I founded Playlist for Life to share with other families something we had to discover by accident when caring for my mother: personal music helps dementia.

“My vision was that if every person with dementia has a unique personal playlist and everyone who loves or cares for them knows how to use it, then we can improve the way we connect and care for people living with this illness.

“This award from The National Lottery Community Fund brings that vision closer. We are grateful for their faith in us and excited about the work to come.”

Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said: “Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, people with loved ones affected by dementia will be given the skills needed to create personalised playlists. We’re proud to support Playlist for Life as they continue to empower family members, care staff and people living with dementia.”

Sarah Metcalfe, CEO of Playlist for Life, said: “Anyone who saw Vicky McClure’s dementia choir programme has seen the power of music to help dementia. It can help manage mood, unlock memories and abilities thought lost, and bring people closer. A personal playlist makes the power of music available to people wherever and whenever they need it.

“We are delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has understood our vision and made this game-changing award. We are a young charity born of family experience. They have valued that knowledge and experience, putting people in the lead.

“For nine months they have worked with us to hone and develop our proposal through a challenging but rewarding process. Now, thanks to them, we have the plan and the funding in place to make our vision a reality. We can’t wait to get started.”