UMG U.K. BACKS DEMENTIA INITIATIVES 

Two initiatives to bring the benefits of music to thousands of people living with dementia have been launched in the U.K. with support from Universal Music.

The Power of Music Fund and the Music Can digital platform were launched at UMG U.K.’s London offices Wednesday (11/8). They will provide support through music—a “social prescription” that evidence suggests could help improve the lives of the 944k people living with dementia in the U.K.

“I’m delighted to see the fund and Music Can platform launch today,” said Universal Music U.K. Chairman & CEO David Joseph. “Both initiatives are perfect examples of the power of music, bringing music and healthcare together to support people’s well-being right across the country.”

The fund will allow grassroots choirs and other music groups to apply for small grants to cover basic costs such as room rental, travel and refreshments. A grant of £500k will be available for a new Centre of Excellence—a partnership among healthcare entities, caregivers, music providers, and volunteer and dementia-support organizations. Applications will be available 11/22.

The Centre will test new approaches to music as part of dementia care, gather evidence of cost savings for the NHS and design new models of care that could be scaled up and spread across England. The National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) has established the fund, which has been kick-started by a £1m contribution from the Utley Foundation, as well as support from Arts Council England, Music for All and others. NASP aims to raise £5m in total.

The Music Can online platform intends to help people living with dementia, their caregivers and musicians to feel confident about using music as part of care. The website, spearheaded by Universal Music U.K. and developed by Boston Consulting Group, includes a directory of support, playlists, music activities and advice.

The Power of Music Fund and Music Can build on two of the recommendations of last year’s "Power of Music" report, published by UK Music and Music for Dementia.

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