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People with dementia join singing flashmob in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 07:12 24 May 2014

People living with dementia and their carers and supporters gather at the Forum for a singing flashmob. Picture: Denise Bradley

People living with dementia and their carers and supporters gather at the Forum for a singing flashmob. Picture: Denise Bradley

copyright: Archant 2014

Central Norwich was filled with the sound of people singing as a flashmob raised awareness of memory loss conditions.

Members of Come Singing! groups in Norfolk, which are for people of all ages living with dementia, their friends and families, took people outside the Forum by surprise as they broke out in song yesterday.

Heather Edwards, who organised the flashmob and played keyboards, said it was a great chance for people with dementia to be a part of the community.

She said: “We had between 80 and 90 people taking part and we thought it went very well. A lot of different groups were involved including Doughty’s Hospital in Norwich and several day centres.

“Having a memory problem does not stop people from being part of the community, or from enjoying singing, so it was great for people with memory loss to be out in the community doing something like this.”

The organisers carried out a similar flashmob event at John Lewis in Norwich a few years ago.

That event involved nearly 200 people gently dancing in the store’s china department.

Yesterday’s event was held as part of national Dementia Awareness Week.

It came in the same week that a Norfolk hospital started using musical memories to improve communication with dementia patients.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is believed to be the first acute hospital in the country to use Musical Mirrors, an electronic music record.

The project involves training staff to catalogue the musical favourites of patients with dementia, creating an electronic record with links to clips on YouTube.

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