Good news – you might want to try this. It is open to all. Follow the link to Emma’s SingTogether LTD site.
The first three days are a free trial, then there will be a charge of £2 per session. Janet signed up from the first day and enjoyed the singalong with 47 other happy singers. Emma is very professional and the Singing Hour is developing rapidly into an easy to access, smoothly run and fun experience.
You need to register in advance for the singing session (it’s easy). After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to The Singing Hour session. Places are limited to 100.
You will be sent a lyric sheet for the week’s session.
On 12th March I attended a Playlist for Life (PfL) training day. Please visit their website to learn more about Playlists and their benefits or you could read my brief introduction to PfL here.
There is a real buzz around PfL. They have trained nearly 6,000 people and 357 communities have PfL Help Points – Reflections is one of these Help Points. We can tell you all about Playlists and offer advice and support on making and using Playlists.
The Training Day
We had a lovely group of people from London(and Southend) at the session in Euston. Rebecca, who is our regional PfL Communities Officer, ran the day and kept us all in order. We covered: Music and the brain; Setting up a Help Point; Being a Music Detective; Helping you help carers; Equipment; Spreading the PfL message; and a Q&A. You can find an introduction to these topics on their website and some of the touching videos we viewed.
We are fortunate to have, Peter (not me), as our local organiser in South East London. Peter’s job is to develop a PfL community in the area. He will be working with local groups, libraries etc. to raise the profile and explain the benefits of developing and using Playlists.
We were able to assess a variety of ways to bring playlists to life. The equipment included: simple MP3 players; iPads; Record Players; and CD players. I was interested in this basic MP3 player, but not sure how useful it would be in practice. This record player looked good, but I was not impressed by the speakers. The web sites we looked at included: BBC Music Memories; Spotify (the subscription version) and YouTube. They even had printed song sheets. The group agreed all of the above had both pros and cons, and their use would depend on who planned to use them and the context. Based on experience, Rebecca suggested that working with young people (linking with a school or college) was a major help in understanding and using modern equipment and providers of services!
Reflections will be considering how we will build on our Playlist work within our Friendship Group and our successful Musical Tea event.
Thank you to Rebecca and the team for an interesting and thought provoking day.
We were surprised and delighted to be contacted by Peta, a couple of weeks ago, saying she would like to run the Vitality Big Half in aid of Reflections. On Sunday morning 1st March we went to Greenwich to support her. We were very pleased to meet the wonderful Peta in Greenwich park, after her run and present her with a certificate of gratitude and a goody bag.
Peta finished the half marathon in 1:55! A very impressive time indeed. We are very grateful for her sponsorship of Reflections. Thank you to Peta and all her sponsors.
The athlete in action: Peta pounds the pavement, but stops to see her son (and husband, who was standing back, with us, in the safe area, away from the thousands of runners).
Here is the route. You might want to try it out.
A new event for us to promote, and raise interest in, Playlist for Life.
We were very pleased to welcome Caroline, who has been with the group since our start. This session was funded in memory of her wonderful mum.
We talked about Playlists and how music can evoke memories and calm us in stressful moments – you can find more information on the Playlist of Life site here.
The group joined in with some paper quizzes and some guess-the-tune sing-and-dance-a-long quizzes.
Some of us got a little carried away… But we all started to think about our Playlists – give it a try.
We must also thank Asda Charlton for providing cakes and miscellaneous party paraphernalia for the event.
We were pleased to be invited to the Carers Forum and The Carers Garden Party run by The Carers Centre at The Stable, Charlton. As you can see from their poster, a representative of the Council presented the RBG “Carers Offer” and The Centre introduced the pilot for their new Therapy Programme – coming soon.
We had our stall out in the fresh air – fortunately we were under a tree, which protected us from a brief shower! Next to us was Angelika (the Greenwich Dementia Action Coordinator) promoting the Dementia Reference Group . Natasha, one of the Carers Centre team, kindly looked after the stall-holders by bringing them cups of tea and coffee. We met some interesting people, including 10 regulars from our Friendship Group.
The Mayor of Greenwich, Mick Hayes, and wife Gillian toured the event and came to speak to us.
Another interesting day for everyone – and the rain held off.
Prompted by one of the carers from our Carers’ Support Group, who had been before, we had a very interesting day at the Alzheimer’s Show at Olympia on Friday 7th June.
It was a pleasure to meet, and catch-up with, fellow visitors from the Greenwich teams of Oxleas and the Alzheimer’s Society at the show.
The day included a variety of speakers and a good selection of stalls to peruse. The Show’s web site gives lots of detail of what was included – have a look here.
We were impressed, and interested in, the Playlist for Life. Your ‘playlist for life’ is all the songs or pieces of music that make up the soundtrack of your life. These are not your favourite songs, but songs that have the ability to bring memories to mind when you hear them. Everyone’s playlist will be different. We have signed-up for their free training course. More details here. I shall be making a short presentation about the Playlist at our Carers’ Group on 10th June and there will be a blog here.
A key message we took from the event was about the variety of things we need to do to keep our brains healthy. Concentrating on one form of brain training is not helpful – if you keep doing Sudoku you will become good at Sudoku, but that is all. With brain training, all areas of the brain need to be worked including those that involve coordination and smell. Other factors mentioned are shown below.
Janet took the Virtual Dementia Tour – which she found very interesting, but rather unnerving. [I have looked for a website to show the Tour, but the ones I found are looking to sell a related service].
We liked the Call-to-Mind game and bought a copy for the Friendship Group. The day after the event we tested it out with our family. Six of us, aged 18 to 87, enjoyed having our memories prodded – some of us were even prompted to burst into song!
It was a good day out and has given us lots of ideas and things to think about.
Today Reflections took part in the council’s dementia awareness event. Thank you to Dot and Jen, two of our team members, who came along to support us.
As well as having an information stand Reflections also ran two activities: The Magic of Mandalas
and Lego – building health and happiness.
It was lovely to see some of our group come along and join in.
Cllr Lekau presented Dementia Inclusive Greenwich awards to a select group of organisation, including Asda Charlton who have become the first supermarket to get such an award. Our friend and supporter Caroline, from Asda, came to accept their award.
Another good day.
Date for your diary – As part of National Dementia Action Week Reflections will be taking part in this event and running a lego & colouring session. If you want to know more about dementia, come along to the event.
The Forever Young Festival at The Stables/Charlton House was bigger than ever. Reflections had a stall again this year. It was lovely to see so many of our group there. Janet and I enjoyed a full day chatting to people and taking-in the atmosphere.
We had recommended the group’s friend Jamie and his appearance certainly turned heads.
He performed several times, in different costumes.
A few people from our Friendship Group joined-in dancing to Jamie with Janet. It was a very nice day for everyone.
I plan to run another Dementia Friends session on 18th April. The session will help you learn more about what it is like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action. If you are interested in coming along please e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Dementia Friends Champion]
You can find more information about Dementia Friends here.