Musicians unite against dementia

The Silver Stars ukulele group.
The Silver Stars ukulele group.

A band of musicians celebrated a decade of making music together while fund-raising for the Alzheimer’s Society on the day the charity launched a major campaign.

The Silver Stars ukulele group plays at the society’s Singing for the Brain group in North Shields once a month.

This week’s performance came on the same day the charity launched its biggest-ever campaign – United Against Dementia.

And band leader Lorna Reed, of Cullercoats, revealed the group has raised an incredible £9,000 in just four years.

She said: “The full group has 13 members and we’ve been together for 10 years now, but we only started raising money for Alzheimer’s Society four years ago, so I think we’ve done quite well. My father Jack Hughes had dementia and died in 2012 and my mother Rena, who is 95, has it and is currently in a care home.”

Singing for the Brain, run by Alzheimer’s Society at venues across the country, uses music and movement to stimulate memories in people living with dementia. Sessions take place every Monday in St Columba’s Church, North Shields, from 1.30pm to 3pm.

Silver Stars member Elspeth Gould, of North Shields, whose mother Margaret died in 2013 after having dementia for a number of years, said: “It’s lovely to see the reaction we get.”

Dementia support worker Caroline Harding added: “To see people who normally have difficulty communicating participating so enthusiastically is incredibly uplifting.”