Media and Press Releases
Welcome to the media and press releases section of the website. Below you will find some of our favourite highlights of Lost Chord's valuable work among dementia sufferers. There are many more inspiring and heartwarming stories on the site, click here for more press releases.
Patricia's debt to Lost Chord
INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed classical singer Patricia Hammond says working with South Yorkshire charity Lost Chord has made her a better artist.
The Canadian born mezzo-soprano is a regular performer with the organisation that provides musical stimulation for dementia suffererers.
Launched ten years ago by Rotherham businesswoman Helena Muller, currently High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, the charity now presents regular musical sessions at more than 60 residential homes throughout South Yorkshire and more recently the project has been expanded nationally, with pilot schemes in both Cardiff and London.
Celebrity patrons include Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Vera Lynn and Doncaster soprano Lesley Garrett.
And Patricia, who has sung in the leading opera houses and concert halls of Europe, says she owes an enormous debt to her Lost Chord audiences.
“Talk to any musician who has performed in a retirement home or a hospice,” she says.
“With a little encouragement he or she will tell you of the kind of miracles that only happen in books and films...of a retired merchant seaman who hasn’t spoken in years suddenly bursting into song, of a lady with advanced dementia coming out of her shell and talking at length about her childhood in a mining town, of a wheelchair-bound WWII refugee from Vienna waltzing as if he were a teenager again, of whole groups of people with memory loss finding that they can remember all the words to the songs of their youth.”
“After a few Lost Chord concerts, I found that my regular recital work had undergone something of a transformation.
“Even when singing the alto arias in Handel’s Messiah, there was an extra dimension, a personal message to everyone in the audience that wasn’t there before.”
And her experiences with Lost Chord particularly helped her when she found herself facing a personal tragedy.
“Last year the doctors gave up on my father, who was suffering from a deadly and painful combination of ailments,” Patricia explains.
“He was cut off from fluids and nutrition and we all had to wait in our own agony as we watched him fade away.
“He was in terrible pain and shuddered and gasped, unable to communicate.
“Over my tears, I took his hand and started singing. His breathing calmed, his eyes focused and his hand held mine. He looked like my father again.
“My experience with Lost Chord had enabled me to give the only gift my father could receive.”
To find out more about how Lost Chord is celebrating its tenth anniversary and to see how you could support the charity, visit www.lost-chord.org.uk
Ada's musical memories help charity appeal
THE final years of Rotherham pensioner Ada Molyneux were lost to the tragedy of dementia, the illness that robbed her of all memories of her past.
But in the last few hours of her life, Ada at last found a way to communicate with the world around her, thanks to South Yorkshire charity Lost Chord.
And those few final moments of clarity were captured on camera by a film crew making an item for BBC1’s monthly charity appeal programme Lifeline.
Lost Chord - whose patrons include Cliff Richard, Dame Vera Lynn and Doncaster diva Lesley Garrett - was launched in 1999 and produces more than 850 musical sessions every year, using professional musicians to stimulate responses from dementia sufferers in care homes and day centres.
The BBC filmed another of the charity’s celebrity supporters, TV presenter Angela Rippon, during a visit to Rotherham’s Laureate Court home, where staff were amazed to see the way the music touched and revitalised Ada, who died just a couple of hours after the programme, which attracted donations worth several thousand pounds for Lost Chord, was screened.
“We visit Laureate Court and many other homes in the South Yorkshire area, using interactive music in order to stimulate responses from dementia sufferers and therefore attempt to keep their brains more active, raising their self esteem and reducing their anxiety levels,” explained Lost Chord’s Chief executive and High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Helena Muller.
“Ada featured in the film dancing with soprano Rebecca Rudge, who performs regularly with Lost Chord.
“It was so good to see that Ada was obviously enjoying herself so much shortly before she died and we are certain that the way she responded helped viewers to understand just how important the work of Lost Chord is in touching the lives of dementia sufferers. I’m sure that Ada’s legacy is now to help sustain Lost Chord into the future with her contribution to the BBC Lifeline Appeal.
“Her daughter said how anxious she was normally but music seemed to calm her anxiety and allow her to enjoy life again.
“Her family were delighted to receive a DVD of the appeal from Lost Chord giving them fond memories of how their mother used to be.”
Lost Chord currently covers more than 60 residential homes across South Yorkshire and the project has recently been expanded nationally, with pilot schemes in both Cardiff and London.
To give your support to the charity write to Lost Chord, The Coach House, 1 Abbey Lane, Slade Hooton, Nr Laughton-en-Le-Morthen, South Yorkshire, S25 1YQ, call 01909 563335 or email: Helena@lostchord.fsnet.co.uk
Press releases on behalf of Lost Chord by John Highfield PR. For further information call 07776 180911 or email: email@example.com