Lottery funding awarded by Jersey Community Foundation brings art and music therapy to people affected by dementia

Following changes made in 2021, CI Lottery proceeds are now awarded with 50% of the proceeds going to the Arts, Culture, Heritage, Sports and Science sectors via the Jersey Community Foundation.

In the recent round of grant applications, Jersey Dementia was successfully awarded £9,583 to help provide art and music therapy to stimulate and engage with people living with dementia.

The regular weekly activities not only improve the well-being of those living with dementia but also offer respite to their carers who also attend these organised sessions. Additionally, some of the funds are being used to help create a 2022 Christmas card designed by someone with dementia which will be sold to raise funds for the charity.

People with dementia can often, in the later stages of their disease, have a limited ability to have rational thought. Some are no longer able to speak or walk unaided, and many have problems recalling recent events. However, the part of the brain which controls their emotional memory is less impacted and so stimulating the brain with music from their youth or performing simple tasks like painting by numbers can have transformative effects on quality of life.

Painting has been found to be particularly valuable in helping people living with dementia to communicate in a non-verbal way; when verbal communication is more difficult or has been lost. Research also suggests that listening to music or singing songs can provide emotional and behavioural benefits. Music has the power to relieve stress and reduce anxiety, agitation and depression, but also to be uplifting and joyous.

Susie Kelly, Volunteer and Activities Co-ordinator at Dementia Jersey said: “We are delighted to have received this grant from Jersey Community Foundation to enable us to offer these weekly art and music therapy activities. Musical memories are often preserved in dementia when other types of memories are lost and painting and drawing allow for the power of imagination which can make people living with dementia to feel more connected to the world and those around them. We have had an incredibly positive response to the activities so far and are looking forward to continuing to provide these facilities to deliver real and noticeable benefits to all those who attend.”

 Anna Terry, CEO of the Jersey Community Foundation added, The CI lottery proceeds are there to benefit the whole of our island community. We are delighted with the way that Jersey Dementia is using the arts to help people living with dementia to express themselves and stimulate their minds as well as providing an enjoyable and safe space for them and their carers.”