Plea to help bring music - and memories - to Bay's dementia sufferers

Joseph Bulmer

An appeal has been launched to help bring a touch of life-changing music to the ears of dementia sufferers in Torbay.

It comes from Norman 'Norrms' McNamara, the Torquay man who founded the now worldwide Purple Angel dementia  campaign to raise awareness of the devastating condition .

The Mp3 music campaign is part of that and was also launched in Torquay. Norrms explained: "It was launched after hearing about something similar in the USA because it was proved scientifically that music lights up more parts of the brain than any other activity.

"The music signal is never affected by dementia. When you hear certain songs you always remember where you were, what you were doing, who you were with etc and this is how we apply the practice for people with dementia.

"It brings back those memories that they haven't thought about for many years."

He added: "We do our best to make sure there are only happy memories by asking people what are their all-time top 15 or 20 songs  along with the singers that sang them.

"If people are unfortunately in late stages of the condition - as this does work for all - we ask close relatives to fill the forms in and send them to us.
"Once received quite simply we upload the music asked for on to the Mp3s which are brand new and paid for by public funding, package them with brand new headphones and post them on with a few instructions, all at our cost and not theirs."

Thousands of  people with dementia across Torbay, Devon and the UK have been helped and the charity is currently sending out on average of 150 Mp3s a month.

"That is at a cost of £1,400 a month as we buy in bulk to save costs," says Norrms.

The latest campaign target is £3.000. Norrms says: "Sir Tom did it for the NHS so let us do it for the those with dementia and we  hope to smash that target."

The link for the Just giving campaign with co-founder Jane Moore is here: