Northumberland choirs host musical fundraiser for people with dementia

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

An event is taking part in Northumberland to support people living with dementia.

More than 300 people from singing groups came together in Alnwick to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

One in three people born in the UK today will go on to develop dementia in their lifetime.

It is estimated that there are 900,000 people living with the condition in the UK, including an estimated 5,600 in Northumberland.

  • Linnea Tormajer and Tracey Sprigg speak about the event.

The event is organised by Linnea Tormajer, who is the musical director of the Alnwick Allstars Choir.

Mrs Tormajer has arranged the event with help from her husband David Coulson, and local volunteers.

“The choirs will sing in a programme of events across the day and will perform for an audience made up of friends, family and spectators who have come to support and take part in the day.

“They will be singing a varied repertoire of songs, from classic to modern.

"Music has become a powerful tool in helping those living with dementia and research has shown that music therapy can significantly improve and support the mood, alertness and engagement of people with dementia.

"It’s a fun way to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s Society... your voice will not be forgotten," she said.

What is Alzheimer's disease?

In the UK, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is the name for a group of symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain function, according to the NHS website.

It can affect memory, thinking skills and other mental abilities.

The NHS says the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not yet fully understood but a number of things are thought to increase your risk of developing the condition including advancing age, family history and lifestyle factors associated with cardiovascular disease.

What are the symptoms?

It is described as a “progressive condition” as symptoms tend to develop gradually over many years and often become more severe.

The first sign of the disease is usually minor memory problems such as forgetting recent conversations or the names of places.

As the condition develops, this can develop into the person experiencing confusion, disorientation and getting lost in familiar places.

It can also affect a person’s speech and language, mobility, mood and personality as they can become more aggressive, demanding and suspicious of others.

To find out more and get support, visit the NHS website or Dementia UK.

Dementia UK's Helpline is free to call on 0800 888 6678 for support.

Siobhan Marsh, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Linnea and her supporters have done an incredible job organising what promises to be an unforgettable day – and they’re hoping it could become an annual event.

“Every penny raised will help improve the lives of people living with dementia both now and in the future.“

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