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Hello!

Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy and are inspired by the stories I tell and the suggestions and thoughts I share. To find out more about what These Are The Heydays is all about, click here

- Diane

The project that has taken over Kate's life

The project that has taken over Kate's life

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On this chilly evening, allow me to warm you up, inside at least, by introducing you to Kate, 53. She's a professional opera singer who I met at a talk about dementia (hence the rather horrible background for this pic). I know that doesn't sound all that cheery, but wait 'till you read what she does. I guarantee it'll give you a warm glow.

"I’d sung for many years for two charities, going into care homes and hospitals, so I’d seen what music can do for people in those situations.

I set up the Forget-Me-Not Chorus following a ten week project with the Alzheimers Society and Welsh National Opera, who I work for. We wanted to see if we could make a choir for people with dementia and their families, and it was a fantastic experience. There was so much joy in the room, we couldn’t let it go. We had a bit of money for a year, and then when it ran out we formed our own charity.

It's my passion. I never stop thinking about it

The Chorus has been going for seven years now. There are five choirs, I run four of them, as well as still being a professional opera singer for WNO, doing special needs teaching and teaching singing at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. So it’s a busy life. But it’s my passion. It’s taken over my life. I never stop thinking about it.

We’ve got 180 singers who come along every week and I could tell you so many stories of how people have said it’s changed their lives. Because if you’re in the midst of that difficult time - either experiencing dementia or caring for someone who does - what do you do when you get that diagnosis? Actually, what you do is come and have a sing."

Find out more about the wonderful Forget-Me-Not Chorus on their website www.forgetmenotchorus.com

If you know of any other inspiring dementia support projects or work, especially if you're involved, do let me know about them

David reveals his new sculpture

David reveals his new sculpture

Gill won't take no for an answer

Gill won't take no for an answer