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Home  >  News  >  Guild Pledge to Help Dementia Music Charity


Guild Pledge to Help Dementia Music Charity

THE Church of Scotland Guild has pledged to help support the work of the charity Playlist for Life, which promotes music as a way of improving the lives of those living with dementia.

Following a moving address on the journey of her mother through Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, which sowed the seeds for the charity which she founded – and the impact of music - broadcaster Sally Magnusson made a personal plea for the Guild to support the work of the charity, which develops personalised playlists to help those living with dementia. The charity had found, she said, that for some people, being exposed to personal music brought about improvement in relationships and daily lives.

Speaking at the Guild's annual gathering in Dundee, Sally said Guild members could help by:

  • Spreading the work of the charity by telling friends
  • Inviting a speaker to Guild meetings
  • Getting uniformed organisations involved by helping load up personalised playlists on to donated iPods
  • Arrange training for elders, ministers and visitors to anyone supporting someone with dementia
  • Collecting iPod shuffles and donating them to the charity or raising money for them
  • Holding a tea dance with the proceeds going to Playlist for Life

Her mother, Mamie Magnusson (nee Baird) a journalist and mother of five, was the author of the Guild’s centenary history and, describing the impact of dementia on the family, Sally said: “For me, trying to help my mother live well with dementia, as many of you know, was intensely difficult.”

Through the journey she and the family discovered the calming effects of music and its ability to trigger memories and connections, sowing the seeds for the founding of Playlist for Life.

“Music became a means by which we could hold her memories,” she explained, adding: “I am not trying to promote here that Playlist for Life is a panacea. Dementia remains an intractable, very difficult condition, but it does help make life a bit better for people.”

Calling for the Guild’s support with the charity’s work, she said: “I do rather feel with the Guild behind us we can do anything.”

Guild National Convener Rosemary Johnston said the Guild ‘would love to support Playlist for Life’.

Closing the gathering, Mrs Johnston said a donation would be made to the charity by the Guild and also to the Church of Scotland HIV Programme following the gathering. Musical interludes during the gathering were led by the Heart and Soul Swing Band, which fundraises for the HIV Programme.


Learn more about the work of Playlist for Life here

Learn about the work of the Church of Scotland HIV Programme here


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