AV Dawson cyclists put dementia sufferers in fine voice

August 19th, 2016

We’re Singing for the Brain! That’s the chorus from a group of Teesside dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease sufferers who have received a £4,000 boost thanks to the pedal power of staff from Middlesbrough firm AV Dawson.

In their role as patrons of charitable movement Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, a 15-strong AV Dawson team completed a 150-mile, coast-to-coast bike ride from Whitehaven to Saltburn to raise £5,500.

They shared the cash between two dementia groups close to their hearts, with Singing for the Brain receiving £3,850 and Stockton group Young at Heart presented with a further £1,564.

The cash boost means Singing for the Brain will be spreading their music therapy sessions beyond their regular get-togethers at The Trinity Centre in North Ormesby to a new venue at St Mary’s Church Hall in Acklam.

Singing for the Brain is a stimulating group activity for people living with dementia, encouraging them to enjoy the songs of yesteryear with their carers to boost their general well-being and confidence. Hidden in the fun are activities which build on the preserved memory for song and music in the brain, as research has shown that music is especially easy to recall even when many memories are hard to retrieve.

Meanwhile, dementia sufferers and their carers who attend Young at Heart will be carrying on the sessions they love at St John’s Church in Stockton for another 12 months, thanks to their £1,500 boost.

Members of the user-led group meet regularly to take part in social and physical activities including, with indoor cricket a particular favourite, while carers also participate in a peer support group.

Led by managing director Gary Dawson, the fundraising cyclists were AV Dawson staff Craig Lloyd, Neil Olver, Lewis Simpson, Dave Fry, Jon Lambert, Russell Spink, Lee Vaughan, Andy Humphreys, Chris Donovan, Stuart Nelson, Paul Wilson, Aiden Morgan and Craig Rowley, who were joined by Steve Hill of Tata Steel’s Skinningrove plant.

Gary said: “We’re channelling the funds through the Philanthropic to support local people affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. It’s something that myself and other colleagues have become much more aware of over recent months, so we all felt it would be really worthwhile to put our support behind it.”

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