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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Playlist for Life announces new executive director


Michael Timmons takes on role during charity’s 10th anniversary year. 

A leading music and dementia charity, Playlist for Life, celebrates its 10th anniversary as a new executive director takes the helm for what will be a pivotal year for the organisation.

Michael Timmons was appointed executive director of Playlist for Life in April after previously serving as head of operations and deputy director before taking on the role of interim executive director in January 2023. 

He has been with the organisation since 2019 and will now lead on strategic plans to reach every person living with dementia in the UK through strategic partnerships, community work and awareness-raising campaigns.

Playlist for Life promotes the use of personally meaningful music to improve the lives of people living with dementia, their families and carers. 

It was founded in 2013 by writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson after the death of her mother, who lived with dementia. 

Based on two decades of scientific research, the Playlist for Life aims to ensure that everyone living with dementia has a playlist of personal music and that everyone who cares for them knows how to use the playlist effectively.

Timmons earned a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Glasgow and has over 10 years’ experience in the voluntary and health and social care sector working to drive change in communities. 

He has worked in a variety of leadership roles in organisations including Wheatley Care, a leading provider of care and support services in Scotland. 

He is currently chair of the board of directors for the Patients Advocacy Service at The State Hospital, a service providing advocacy to people detained under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. 

Beyond his work with Playlist for Life, Michael is a musician and has performed across the UK and Europe.

Sandra Stark, chair of the board of trustees, said: “On behalf of the Trustees, I am delighted to announce Michael Timmons as the Executive Director for Playlist for Life. 

“Michael has played an important role at Playlist for Life since 2019 and his achievements and commitment to the charity are very clear. His skills and experience make him the ideal person to lead our committed team of staff and volunteers to bring the benefits of personal music to people with dementia, their families and carers across the UK.”

He said: “I’m honoured and excited to lead the charity and the fantastic team we have here. This year marks the 10th birthday of Playlist for Life. It has already been an exciting year for us and we look forward to our birthday in June and National Playlist Day during World Alzheimer’s Month in September as we bring together various partners, collaborators and people affected by dementia to celebrate the transformative power of meaningful music for dementia.”

“In my experience of working in the community, the care sector and supporting loved ones who lived with dementia, a personalised playlist of meaningful music is one of the most powerful tools we have to help people. It can truly provide a lifeline and it is more important than ever before that people have access to their own personalised playlist and the resources to help them create it.

“We all have a unique personalised playlist, so get started and make one for yourself or someone close to you now.”

Playlist for Life celebrates its 10th anniversary with two conferences in June 2023.

These events are open to anyone with lived experience of dementia, health and social care professionals and community groups and organisations supporting people affected by dementia. 

The first event will be in person in Glasgow on Monday 12 June and an online version will be held on Tuesday 13 June.



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