Psychology Student provides support for Singing for the Brain Alzheimer’s Society group

‌‌‌Allegretto for Piano Trio, WoO 39 (Beethoven, Ludwig van)

The Organisation

Dementia can happen to anyone and there's currently no cure. There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and the number is set to rise to 1 million by 2021. Alzheimer's Society believes passionately that life doesn't end when dementia begins. They help anyone affected by dementia, and aim to keep people with dementia connected to their lives and the people who matter most.

Singing For The Brain

The Challenge

Alzheimer's Society needed someone to provide support at Singing for the Brain meetings, which provides a structured group session for people with dementia who may wish to attend alone or with a carer.

Skills Sought

  • Have experience of and an interest in music and movement
  • Knowledge of dementia and its impact on people
  • Good verbal communication and listening skills, especially face to face
  • Able to work individually and as part of a team
  • Are comfortable following policies, procedures and guidance including confidentiality

The Solution

Second year Psychology Student, Georgia Jameson, was recruited through the Psychology Voluntary Placement Programme for an placement of over 20 hours with Alzheimer's Society’s Singing for the Brain group. Georgia helped practically run the sessions such as recording attendees and helping set out the room. She also talked and supported members of the group, helping them feel less isolated and experience an enjoyable activity, increasing their feeling of wellbeing.

Impact

Georgia’s work had a positive impact upon the lives of those attending the group, in addition to helping carers and the group leader. Furthermore, Georgia received valuable experience, developing her professional, academic and personal skills, which will be useful in her future studies and career.

Benefits 

  • Student developed a range of skills
  • Provided the organisation with additional support to help clients
  • Raised awareness of the charity
  • Promoted the university within the community
  • Gave fresh perspective on activities

Organisation Feedback

"Georgia was a lovely volunteer and quickly became part of the team.  She proved herself to be adaptable to the various roles she took on within the Society, helping with both our Singing for the Brain group and our Dementia Café.

"It is great to engage with younger volunteers and it was an extremely positive experience to be involved with the programme.  We are keen to be involved again and look forward to welcoming students from the programme in the future.” Claire Morris, Volunteer Officer for Lancashire, Alzheimer’s Society.

Student Feedback

“It has also shown me how important volunteering is in learning more about myself and the skills that I can both learn and develop. I was also so surprised at how positive I felt for the rest of the week after volunteering, as I felt like volunteering gives me a purpose and makes me feel as though I have made a difference to other people, which is a great feeling!” Georgia Jameson, 2nd year BSc Psychology Student, Alzheimer’s Society Volunteer.

Future Plans

­­Alzheimer’s Society continues to work with the University in future projects including hosting future volunteers.