The Baring Foundation has been funding in the field of arts and older people for the last five years. We believe that singing has a unique magic not only for older residents but for the whole community of a care home. This broad consortium is a great basis for a project which we hope will bring that magic to thousands of people.
David Cutler, The Baring Foundation
We are excited to announce the launch of a very ambitious new initiative. Sound Sense members work in hundreds of care homes around the UK, but there are so many thousands more they do not reach and where residents never participate in group activities themselves.
This is not good. There is hard evidence of the value for older people of singing, and many more should be able to benefit. So - thanks to generous funding from the Baring Foundation- we are going to find the best and most practical ways for music and singing to feature regularly in care homes right across the whole country.
This is something that no single organisation could ever consider doing alone. We’re teaming up first with two national organisations to steer the project: Live Music Now (the lead partner, whose musicians already do lots of incredible work in care homes); and the Sidney De Haan Research Centre (which provide cutting edge research on the medical and social impacts of singing).
And we recognise the many organisations and individuals who already know so much about this work. So, we have formed a working group of more than two dozen leading national organisations who represent both the care sector and the arts sector. Over the coming year, these national organisations will meet regularly to share knowledge, understand what works, undertake research and consultation, and actively create the conditions to make every care home a singing home!
Together, we hope to improve the quality of life for people in care homes, and help create happy environments for carers, family and care home staff.
Singing can lift spirits, but it can also do so much more. There is now hard evidence to show that music participation can help those living with dementia to engage and remember; and more generally, alleviate the effects of breathing diseases; reduce stress and anxiety; and build relationships between residents, carers and staff. Our work find the best ways to bring these benefits to older people, and support care homes to take part, on an ambitious scale.