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Diss Dementia group's sing-along looks to lift spirits

A support group for people with dementia has been having a sing-song in a bid to lift spirits during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Gabrielle Pagan, who helps to run Dove Dementia Cafe, said that, although the group had not been able to meet in person since March, the lockdown had not meant the end of all activities.

She said: “It has mostly been by telephone, but we have also had two sessions on Zoom, where we have all taken part in something we call Dove Song.

Jane Trippet-Jones, left, with Gabrielle Pagan.Picture: Mark Bullimore.
Jane Trippet-Jones, left, with Gabrielle Pagan.Picture: Mark Bullimore.

“The sessions have been made possible by people from Diss and Hoxne donating money so that we can have music therapist Susan Goode join us on the calls to sing with some of our members.”

The group has sung songs such as English Country Garden and various show tunes, together and individually, during the calls – something had helped give everybody something to look forward to, explained Mrs Pagan.

She said: “It has been important to the group, carers and those with dementia to keep up friendships as the group is an important part of their lives.

“They know each other very well – we have all formed a very strong network. It is not just me keeping in contact either; some of the carers call each other to check on them, which is nice.”

Back in February, the cafe joined forces with another dementia group in the town, Time With Friends, to get funding to help with transport for both groups.

Jane Trippett-Jones, who runs Time With Friends, feels the pandemic has left people who are vulnerable in need of interaction.

She said: “This situation is a whole new ball game for everybody, especially for people with dementia and those caring for people.

“Due to them not coming to the groups, carers and the people themselves can sometimes become isolated.”

For more information on Dove Dementia Cafe, call Mrs Pagan on 01379 650770 or email gabrielle

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