Frome charity ‘Songs For The Memory’ received a financial boost of £900, courtesy of the Brethren of Royal Somerset Lodge, 973, this month.
This small charity runs weekly singing sessions, held every Tuesday at Frome Masonic Hall, for members of Frome’s community who suffer the cruel effects of dementia. It is a clinically proven fact that music and singing is one of the best therapies available to assist with managing the symptoms of the disease.
Previously operating under the mantle of The Alzheimer’s Society as ‘Singing For The Brain’, held fortnightly at Frome Hospital until 2017, the group’s support funding was withdrawn whereupon the organisers were faced with the decision to fold or take on the running of the group themselves.
Thus, Songs For The Memory was created, in order to continue the vital therapeutic work, which they decided to run more frequently as weekly sessions, still meeting at Frome Hospital.
The Pandemic meant that they couldn’t meet whilst the necessary health restrictions were in place and, once post-Covid normality had returned, the hospital was no longer available as a meeting place for them.
Chair of the group, Janet Knowles, whose husband, Bob, suffered with dementia until his death in 2020, together with the charity’s other volunteer workforce faced the daunting prospect of finding a suitable new meeting place, as well as finding funds to support their work.
A couple of venues were tried, unsuccessfully, until they happened upon Frome Masonic Hall which was already being used as a meeting place for another Frome charity.
The Masonic Hall’s Board of Management agreed to their request and Songs For The Memory have now been holding their weekly meetings there since November 2021.
The group was delighted to receive a cheque for £900 from Royal Somerset Lodge’s past Master, Andy Baird, and Charity Steward, Terry Hulbert. £250 of that total was generously donated by the Somerset Masonic Charity.
Janet said, “we are very grateful for the help and support that we have received from the Masons in Frome and we look forward to a long and happy journey together”.