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Actress Vicky McClure invites people in Nottinghamshire to join dementia charity’s virtual sing-a-long

Posted onPosted on 27th Apr

Actress and Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador Vicky McClure is inviting everyone in Nottinghamshire to unite in song, through a special one-off Singing for the Brain performance live on Facebook.

The event comes ahead of the charity’s traditional group sessions in the county, moving to a virtually-led service on Zoom.

On Thursday, 30th April, at 3pm, Alzheimer’s Society will broadcast a live national sing-a-long session, that is open to anyone and everyone on its Facebook platform to join in.

From Fly Me To The Moon, to Singin’ In The Rain, the Facebook session will include some fun warm-ups and renditions of old classics, that audiences can join in with from home to experience the power of music together with people living with dementia across the country.

Vicky McClure, whose grandmother had dementia, will join the online session. Also tuning in to sing will be Scouting for Girls’ Roy Stride, whose mother had early-onset dementia, and former Emmerdale actor, John Middleton, whose character in the soap had dementia.

People can vote in advance for their favourite songs to be considered for inclusion via a Facebook poll. The page can be accessed via

Music and social interaction has a hugely positive impact on mood, and since the coronavirus pandemic has prevented groups from happening face-to-face, Alzheimer’s Society has launched the service online to bring hundreds of people living with dementia together every week to experience the benefits of music together during the lockdown.

Angela O’Neill, Singing for the Brain group leader in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, is sending out invites to her group members to join her first virtual sessions.

She said: “There will be a choice to attend one of three weekly Zoom sessions that I’ll be leading. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again as I know the difference this will make to their time in isolation.

“Singing for the Brain is one of the many services that Alzheimer’s Society offers to people affected by dementia. It brings people living with the condition and their carers together to sing a variety of songs they know and love, with fun vocal exercises that help improve brain activity and increase wellbeing.

“The coronavirus pandemic poses a huge risk to people with dementia. Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line is hearing from people unable to get essential care, confused by losing their much-needed routines, concerned that their family member’s symptoms are increasing and their health deteriorating because of a lack of social contact.  Carers are feeling isolated and struggling to get respite.

“Evidence shows that music can help improve and support mood, alertness and engagement of people with dementia, with research* showing that musical memory is often retained when other memories are lost. Music can help people to recall memories due to the nature of preserved memory for song and music in the brain.”

By making the Singing for the Brain session available to everyone online on 30 April, as a national event, Alzheimer’s Society hopes that people will join in to make a difference to the lives of people living with dementia, and ensure they know they aren’t alone.

Vicky, an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, said: “People affected by dementia are finding it tough in these surreal times and support provided by Alzheimer’s Society is needed now more than ever before. Music and singing are fantastic activities for people living with dementia, and I am so excited that Alzheimer’s Society is bringing a Singing for the Brain session direct to people across the UK that is open to all. I hope that everyone at home will join people affected by dementia by warming up their vocal chords and taking part in the session next Thursday 30 April.”

Helen Foster, director of operations, Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It is vital that Alzheimer’s Society is there to offer support for the 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, to make sure they know they aren’t alone. Please donate to our Emergency Appeal to ensure that our Dementia Connect Support line can continue, and that vital services like Singing for the Brain can be available to improve lives and to help people stay connected and remain part of their community.”

Anyone wishing to donate to Alzheimer’s Society’s Emergency Appeal, can visit