West End musical theatre stars and a local MP helped BLG Mind celebrate Dementia Action Week in May by making guest appearances in Zoom sessions for local people affected by dementia.
The events were organised by our dynamic Bromley Dementia Services manager Saira Addison, who wanted to raise awareness of the issues around dementia and how our MindCare dementia services have been adapted during lockdown.
Joining the Dementia Choir sessions were Olivier Award-nominated stage and screen singer Alison Jiear. Alison, who appeared in the film version of Les Misérables and has had lead roles in Jerry Springer: The Opera, Grease and On the Town, popped in during the run-up to Dementia Action Week. Also taking part were award-winning West End musical star and composer Stuart Matthew Price and his wife, opera singer Heather Lundstedt, who delighted choir members with a moving performance of ‘All I Ask of You’ from The Phantom of the Opera.
They weren’t the only professional vocalists to join in the fun. Earlier in the month, renowned jazz singer Trudy Kerr and her husband Geoff led the singing of several classic numbers, including ‘Que Sera, Sera’ and ‘What a Wonderful World’.
And Ellie Reeves, MP for Lewisham West and Penge, also showed her support by taking part in a chair exercise session.
Saira described the service users as a “real sociable lot” who loved seeing some new faces joining the group. She added that Zoom sessions have been a key way to connect with those living with dementia and their carers during the pandemic.
“Lockdown saw a lot of dementia services close. Zoom isn’t for everyone, we understand that, but it is a way we can still reach out and provide some stimulation, social interaction and fun for people with dementia and their carers,” Saira said.
She added: “None of this would be possible without our amazing volunteers – our three lead coordinators, Sheila A, Shelia H, and Joan, and our volunteers Linda, Tracy, Caroline and Jean.”
Dementia Action Week 2021 ran from 17-23 May. Dementia Action Week 2022 is 20-27 May.