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New Harmonie continues to receive funding support for its work.

The Henry Smith Charity and the Sussex Community Foundation ( Lawson Fund and the Innes Fund) have awarded further grants to New Harmonie to allow its players to continue to use live music as a care intervention with dementia and palliative care. Projects in 2018 will be run at St Peter and St James Hospice Chailey, Skylark House Horsham, Glen Vue Day Care Centre East Grinstead, the Bradbury Well Being Centre Haviland House Worthing and Maidenbower Day Centre Care Crawley. The evaluations New Harmonie carries out after each session with residents/service users, relatives, staff and players highlights the impact live music has upon participants and is valuable evidence that we can give to funders showing how we do ‘make a positive difference’ to mood and well being. Gentle exercise, singing, making music with the players, dancing, reminiscing, listening - all contribute to rewarding sessions much appreciated by participants and their carers “ I loved it. Will be here next week. You make such a difference to my day”

And staff “ Great atmosphere. One lady got up dancing who never usually dances” “ Everyone buoyant and lots of smiling – appreciative of the music – toe tapping, clapping, singing. Many different forms of responses observed. Everyone left the session in good spirits”

January 2018


New Harmonie has been awarded another Big Lottery grant to use live music as a care intervention for people with a dementia. In 2018, quintets will visit The Laurels Day Care Centre Rustington, Skylark House Horsham, Mill View East Grinstead and Maidenbower Day Care centre in Crawley.

The group will play for three or four consecutive weeks in each venue with a programme of gentle exercises, singing, music making, dancing, reminiscing and relaxation. New Harmonie has now run over 210 workshops in more than thirty Sussex residential homes and day care centres for those with a dementia. Patients (where they are able), staff, family carers and players evaluate each session to demonstrate to funders that these sessions do ‘make a difference’ as illustrated by a few comments from participants, family carers and players.

Participants : "I enjoy the dancing. We are looking forward to next week" "Enjoyed playing the drum - relaxes my muscles" "Very good indeed - my kind of music" "Makes me recall the Starlight Dance Hall Crawley. Can’t remember if there was live music but there were lots of girls" "I really appreciate your visits" "I absolutely loved it and always do. It is a very cheerful morning and it is lovely to see everyone smiling and joining in. I think about it for the rest of the day"

Family Carers : "The music is uplifting and the effects from last week very positive" "I notice a tremendous difference during the hour we are with you. My husband has great difficulty in speaking - he loves your music and tries so hard to react to it by speaking words to me - not sentences - but I can work out what he means. It is lovely that we enjoy this precious time together" "My father enjoys your visits every time. He really loves dance music especially Glen Miller but enjoys all of it" "P was very miserable and needed encouraging to attend - but really enjoyed it - much happier now "

Players "What a great morning. I don’t ever remember seeing more involvement from the whole group. The staff are really excellent and make such a big effort to include everyone present in any way appropriate. It is lovely to see the people who find it difficult to speak to us really beaming and mouthing the words to the songs they recognised. It is great that people are now getting up spontaneously to join in and this is where the consecutive visits really show the benefits as we are able to build a good rapport over the weeks and everyone feels relaxed and confident to join in. We are also getting some really jolly banter with the group which all adds to the nice inclusive feel about the session"

Geoff Richardson who leads the group said "Without the support of the Big Lottery Fund and other Foundations we could not bring professional musicians who have special interpersonal skills working with dementia into these Sussex centres. Our work also extends into hospices where we again see the benefit of quality live music as a care intervention"

New Harmonie Dementia care

St Peter and St James Hospice Chailey

Since 2014  a New Harmonie quintet has been playing for patients in the Well-being  Centre at St Peter and St James Hospice Chailey.  Currently with generous funding from the Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing Fund ( through the Sussex Community Foundation) and the Ernest Kleinwort Charitable Trust we are running weekly sessions at the Hospice.  Feedback from the patients and staff is extremely positive and one patient said ‘I felt extremely blessed to be here and to listen to your lovely music’ A group of patients asked to have a picture with the players and gave permission for us to use these photographs.