With Christmas and the end of the year (and the decade!) around the corner, we wanted to share some of our highlights from what can only be described as an eventful year! Here it goes:
We went on tour!
We started the year off with a tour across the UK with the lovely cast and crew of ‘In Other Words’, a poignant story about one couple’s Alzheimer’s journey and music’s transformative role in powering through the difficult moments.
We had a Really Terrible Orchestra…
…play at our second Memory Sessions concert. The one and only Alexander McCall Smith hosted what could only be described as a fabulous and fun night of music and reminiscence!
We were awarded £1.6 million pounds!!!
Certainly one of the biggest highlights of 2019 was the National Lottery Community Fund award. Not only will this help us raise awareness for the power of playlists, but it delivers half of the funds needed to set up 1,500 Help Points across the UK by 2022. Speaking of which…
We now have 419 community Help Points
Nearly 220 community organisations across the UK signed up to join our Help Point Network this year. Our Help Points do amazing work sharing the power of playlists with people with dementia living at home, and providing help and advice when people get stuck while creating their playlist.
We also set up our own Help Point at Queen’s Parish Church in Glasgow. So if you’re ever in the neighbourhood on a Thursday between 10:30 am and 12 pm, come say hello!
We hosted a Musical Tea
This year we collaborated again with BBC Music Day and invited everyone to get involved by hosting a Musical Tea. We were blown away by your support (we sent out 207 packs!) and loved seeing all the photos from your Musical Teas. Next year, we hope to organise Musical Tea Month in April. So stay tuned for news about how you can get involved!
We’ve started building specialist playlists
We want to make finding the right music for your playlist as easy as possible, and we’re proud to announce that we now have over 240 public playlists on our Spotify profile covering a range of years, genres, places and cultures. Many of these Playlists have been specially curated by professional playlist curators, music detectives and researchers, volunteers.We owe a special thanks to Paul Fernandes at Universal Music who has been key in building these playlists with his team and finding others that can help.
We also owe a thank you to Nur Ali, a Community Development & Dementia Support Worker, who is doing fantastic work at 3 of of our Help Points in Sheffield. Nur has been sharing the music they have been using with different cultures, communities and faith groups across Sheffield.
“We have 3 Help Points across Sheffield and have found that music and songs connect people across different cultures and communities. The Playlists we help people create cover a range of cultures, languages and faiths. When we recently played Kurdish Islamic Nasheeds at one of our cafes we saw a very positive response from a Kurdish person who has been attending who started to sing and was able to connect with other people at the café. We also see a very positive response from people and their carers.”
61 amazing volunteer Speakers and Networkers
As well as hundreds of Help Point volunteers we now have a growing team of 61 Speakers and Networkers sharing the power of playlists from Inverness to Truro. They have attended over 253 events and shared the power of playlists with 13,686 people since January!
We want to give a special shout-out to our volunteer Liz Wilson who has raised over £1,260 from talks and other events this year!
And last, but certainly not least
Our team has grown!
Over the course of 2019 we’ve welcomed 13 new colleagues! Each of them has brought something great to the team that will undoubtedly help us achieve great things in 2020. We will do the proper introductions in January, so keep an eye on this space.
Naturally, a growing team has meant moving to a larger office. We’ve only moved down the stairs from unit 14 to unit 1, but we’re looking forward to welcoming our friends into our new space once we’ve finished decorating it.