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Music in Hospitals & Care (MiHC) is a charity providing live music sessions for people who are receiving care This Micro Fund project has fully funded the provision of 16 live music concerts across 4 care home venues, in the Neath, Afan, Rhondda Fawr and Cynon valleys.

The interactive sessions took place in the following venues:

1. Trem Y Glyn Residential Home, Park Ave, Glynneath

2. Arwelfa Residential Care Home, Eastern Avenue, Croeserw

3. Ty Ross Nursing Home, Ninian Street, Treherbert

4. Ysguborwen Care Home, Llwydcoed

Each one-hour session was provided by a professional musician, who lives in the local area.

This project has made a huge difference to communities in this area. It sounds clichéd to say, but without this funding, these 4 care homes would simply not have received their music sessions. There is a very limited source of funds in the area and the charity does not receive any statutory support to fund deprived areas. It goes without saying that live music makes a significant impact on a person’s wellbeing – and all four venues have given excellent feedback in response to the sessions. The residents have fairly similar cultural backgrounds and although their level of health varied, all the residents were able to participate or engage with the music in some way. It was very rewarding to experience a number of the concerts first-hand, where I witnessed one frail older lady getting up to dance with the care home manager. These moments of freedom and expression are so important in what otherwise would be a potentially repetitive and boring environment, and the opportunity for staff to bond with their residents during the session is really valuable. Staff commented that their stress levels are reduced during the sessions, with one Activities Coordinator saying, “All our residents sang along – and talked about it for days afterwards.” –  Hannah MiHC

Mrs Cymru has been with us at Ty Ross for 2 months, she has advanced Alzheimer’s disease. This is a life-limiting condition that gets worse over time. Mrs Cymru’s condition has impacted her ability to remember her past life, her sense of time and space, language and communication.

We at Ty Ross were recently fortunate enough to receive performers and artists from Music at Hospitals & Care, and we always make sure that all able residents attend these sessions.

It was quickly apparent that Huw & Mel’s music had a positive and profound effect on Mrs Cymru… She sang all the words to songs and performed and danced (with support). She didn’t want to sit down throughout the performance!

Her memory for songs and the lyrics had magically returned and her balance improved throughout the concert. Her stress was eased, and her agitation lowered. Mrs Cymru’s mood was lifted and happy, it was an absolute joy to witness for the staff and the other residents.

Music is essential to our care home for the wellbeing of all our residents

Music evokes emotions that bring memories… Music remind residents of key moments in their lives and bring back happy memories alongside making new connections with family and friends.

“I was lucky enough to attend a couple of these sessions. The afternoon I spent in Glynneath was one of the most joyous afternoons I have ever had. The singer sang his first word and immediately everybody there started singing along and knew every word. People held hands, laughed, sang, danced and cried. The warmth between the residents, the staff and the performer provided by MiHC was a privilege to see. Considering the feedback received from all the venues, the four most notable achievements from the project were:

  • Residents had improved memory and were able to reminisce with staff/visors more easily.
  • Residents socialised/sang/chatted more than normal, and a small number sang ‘for the first time’.
  • Residents experienced more freedom of mobility (got up to dance, clapped, waved their arms).
  • Residents felt more connected with the Welsh roots (singing in Welsh which aided reminiscent stories about their childhood in the area).

    We wish MiHC continued success.” – Kate @ Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund

How this project met the fund’s priorities:

Carers that are better supported to reduce the burden upon them / Support cultural activity / A wider range of opportunities locally to be healthy, active and engaged.