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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Award-winning music and dementia charity marks partnership milestone

This news post is 9 months old

Playlist for life now has 2,000 points in its Help Point community partnership network.

A Glasgow-based music and dementia charity has announced its latest community partnership as it celebrates 2,000 sign ups to its Help Point network.

To mark World Music Day this week Playlist for Life has announced a partnership with Highland Senior Citizen’s Network (HSCN), a highland-wide older people’s charity that advocates for people over the age of 55.

The partnership will see HSCN spread the word of the power of personally meaningful music for people affected by dementia throughout the Highlands. 

The Help Point network was first established in 2017 and is a 2000-strong group of community groups and organisations helping people affected by dementia through the power of personally meaningful music. 

Help Points can be found throughout the UK in libraries, community centres, dementia cafes, faith centres and any other community location where people living with dementia, their families and carers might access free support. 

Playlist for Life provides support in the form of free promotional material and resources to help people build playlists and a free 2-hour eLearning course available to all staff and volunteers at Help Points.

Michelle Armstrong-Surgenor, Executive Director of Playlist for Life, said: “This milestone is hugely exciting for us, and the whole Help Point network. Playlist for Life aims to reach people living with dementia and their carers in whatever setting is best for them, which is why collaboration is key for our charity. 

“By partnering with groups and organisations all around the UK, we can share the message that personally meaningful music can help people affected by dementia in so many ways.”

The charity’s work is based on more than two decades of research showing that ‘personal music’ – the specific tunes attached to someone’s emotions that can spark memories – can help those living with dementia by alleviating stress, managing symptoms and strengthening relationships with family members and carers.  

A recent study from the University of Toronto found that listening to personally meaningful music can help to boost the brain function in patients with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease. 

There are 479 Help Points in Scotland, including 186 registered libraries, thanks in part to Playlist for Life’s partnership with The Scottish Library and Information Council. 

Various Alzheimer Scotland centres are also registered Help Points, such as the Alzheimer Scotland Resource Centre in Fife that recently joined the Help Point network.

HSCN has so far shared the power of personalised playlists with their 500+ newsletter subscribers, and with Lochaber Life community magazine readers. 

Playlist for Life featured on their monthly Community Connections slot on Nevis Community Radio and local organiser, Jemma Galbraith, spoke to HSCN members during a virtual Tea Break. 

Partnering with another Help Point, Kinlochleven Community Library, led to a successful Playlist for Life Carers' Tea event and plans for further collaborations.

Jo Cowan, coordinator at Highland Senior Citizens Network (HSCN), said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be part of this great movement! Being a Playlist for Life Help Point can be whatever you or your organisation can manage within your resources. 

“What’s important is spreading the word so that more people with dementia and their carers and families can access this great initiative, and so that communities and families can get involved in promoting it and supporting its successful use. Being involved in Playlist for Life isn’t just beneficial to those who need it most, it also generates lots of fun and connection in families and communities through conversations about music!”



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