Burnley's Pendleside Hospice hits the right notes with new Dementia Music Café

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Pendleside Hospice has launched its new Dementia Music Café.

This heartwarming 10-week initiative developed in collaboration with the Manchester Camerata is completely free of charge and designed to bring the healing power of music therapy to service users and their families, living with dementia.

Every other Wednesday, a music therapist from the Manchester Camerata, a group of talented musicians as well as hospice staff and volunteers, will gather together to play instruments. Music therapy has been shown to help unlock memories, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well-being.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Lisa Clarke, Pendleside Hospice's Volunteer Coordinator, has joined the sessions with her mum, Janet, and dad, David, who has Alzheimer's.

The Dementia Music Cafe at Pendleside Hospice in Burnley.The Dementia Music Cafe at Pendleside Hospice in Burnley.
The Dementia Music Cafe at Pendleside Hospice in Burnley.

"It is incredible to see Dad come to life during these sessions. He has always had a passion for music and was constantly singing and whistling. Whenever Mum lost him in the supermarket, she would simply follow the sound of his whistle!

Read More
Burnley history: 13 fascinating photos looking at prominent buildings in the tow...

"Watching my dad respond to the music, tapping his feet, clapping his hands, laughing, and smiling is an absolute joy. Due to his Alzheimer's, he struggles to form sentences and his verbal communication is very limited. Yet, at the end of last week's session, he stood up and clearly said, 'Thank you everyone, that was wonderful!'

"Seeing the look on my mum's face was priceless. You have no idea what a difference that hour on a Wednesday has made."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
The Dementia Music Cafe at Pendleside Hospice in Burnley.The Dementia Music Cafe at Pendleside Hospice in Burnley.
The Dementia Music Cafe at Pendleside Hospice in Burnley.

Janet added: "Participating in the Music Café with David has been a wonderful experience for both of us. It's hard to say for certain if it's the sole reason, but David seems noticeably happier overall. His mood has definitely improved since we started attending, and I truly believe it's benefiting him. I only wish it were more frequent – I would bring him every day if I could!"

The Music Café will continue to run until autumn thanks to an arts fund from The Ruth Sutton Trust for Music. To keep the sessions going, the charity is seeking Music Champions to join Pendleside on a voluntary basis.

If you wish to learn more about the charity’s dementia support services, or to volunteer as a Music Champion, please contact 01282 440 100.