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MEET OUR CHOIR

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Julie

Julie was diagnosed with frontal temporal dementia in 2017 after 3 years of tests.

Being in the choir has meant so much to her. She says being with other people struggling with the same things makes her feel like she's not alone.

 

She enjoys singing with her choir family.

'It's great fun, we forget we have dementia and we just become a choir.' 

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Mick B

Mick was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Epilepsy in 2018 at the very early age of 51.

 

Since that day, his life and the lives of his family have been turned upside down, having been given a terminal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and managing the progressive change over the years.  Whilst living his life as fully as possible, day to day is hard and he is now in the mid to late stage of the disease. Our Dementia Choir is a lifeline for Mick and his family.  His daughter, Hannah, is a volunteer and his wife, Karen, is the Charity Manager.  It is most certainly a family affair – indeed the choir is their extended family!

 

Mick struggles with communication in daily life but when it comes to singing – he comes into his own!  Literally ‘smashing it’ every time he is on stage!  He loves singing and being centre stage – so watch out for Mick ‘Bringing You Sunshine!’

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Jean

Jean is retired and independent!

Her family is very important to her, she has a daughter, a son, and three grandsons.

Jean's main interests are swimming and reading, singing and music, friends and holidays, and visiting interesting places, especially buildings.

Jean tries to keep busy all the time but occasionally likes to relax at home!

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Jill

Jill has a diagnosis of corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and has difficulties with speech, coordination, memory, and mobility. Because of this Jill has had to give up working, and is no longer able to play badminton and enjoy walks in the countryside with her husband and dogs. The choir helps to fill the void and Jill is very thankful for it. 

 

 Jill joined the choir in April 2022 and was immediately catapulted into a world of laughter, fun, friendliness, camaraderie, and support. Choir members and carers alike have a good rapport and are there for each other in all the good and not-so-good times that living with dementia brings.  

 

The choir is a fabulous community to belong to. 

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George

I love music, in my younger days I used to perform in pubs and working men’s clubs with my brother, nowadays I enjoy playing the harmonica with the dementia choir.

 

I was diagnosed with vascular dementia during lockdown.

 

I live with my son Steven and daughter-in-law Naomi.

 

Singing with the choir has given me new friends and good times to look forward to. 

Cassie

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Molly

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Kevin has Alzeimers, Parkinsons and Lewy Body Dementia. He joined the choir in early 2022 and loves the rehearsals and performing with his new found friends.

 

He has always loved singing and belonged to an amateur band with his friends called "Kevin and the Kevinettes" who performed mainly for fun.

 

Kevin played Badminton at county level and was a veteran champion. He is also a black belt in Karate and was a part of the Great Britain Karate Squad who fought at the European Championships in Paris.

 

He now lives at Larkhill Retirement Village and his cheeky smile and corny one-liners have made him as popular there as he always has been.

Mary

Mary is 86 years young and from Sutton-in-Ashfield where she lives with her husband David. Mary worked in a hosiery factory before being diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s 5 years ago. Mary used to love parties, socialising cooking, baking as well as being a grandma to 10! Mary says she attend the choir for company, to make friends and of course to sing!

Mary

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David

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Angela

Hello, my name is Angela. I was diagnosed with Lewy body Dementia in 2019. I have trouble walking.

I have always loved singing I used to sing with my church choir and for 19  years as Burton Joyce choral society. I was head teacher for 13 years and loved my job. I was the editor of the Burton Joyce magazine.  I used to love hopping on cruises and exploring. My favourite place is Norfolk. I have two children and have been married to my husband David for 57 years.

Lesley

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June

June is 89 years young and lives at The Conifers Rest Home. She became a member of the choir because she loves to "sing,sing,sing!"

She certainly adds lots of joy to rehearsals!

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Maureen

Maureen has always enjoyed singing with others in choirs. She was in several singing groups that rehearsed and gave concerts for over 30 years.  Maureen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014.  The combination of Alzheimer's and lockdown during Covid has meant Maureen missed out on something that gave her real enjoyment. Joining the choir where people understand the issues around dementia has bought some real pleasure back into her days.

Mick is 82 years old from Mansfield. He is married to Yvonne and has one daughter and is a retired Electrician.

Mick was first diagnosed with Cognitive Impairment in 2017 and then Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia last year.

Mick says that he comes to Our Dementia Choir for the enjoyment it brings, meeting great people and having fun. Mick says that the choir makes him feel good and well supported.

When not performing with the choir he also sings in the Mansfield male voice choir. Mick has always been fit, playing squash, golf and running half marathons. He boxed for England at the age of seventeen and was a semi-professional footballer!

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Mick T

Mark is 65 years old and originally from Llanelli, South Wales. He is retired Police Officer. Mark is supported by his partner Steph and his two daughters.

Mark has been living with Alzheimer’s Dementia since September 2021.

Mark says he attends Our Dementia Choir because he enjoys singing and spending time with like minded people and having a good laugh.

Mark is a very sociable person and besides choir enjoys eating and drinking, watching sports and going to gigs and concerts.

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Mark

Barbara is 90 years old and lives in East Bridgford. In her earlier life, she worked as a seamstress and a home-help. 

She lives with her daughter Jackie and her grand-daughter Lucy. Barbara also has support form other  members of her close family.

She was keen to join Our Dementia Choir as she has always enjoyed singing and socialising. At home, Barbara enjoys jigsaws, word searches and watching bowls. She loves to dance and have a laugh with her family and friends.

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Barbara

Stuart is 78 and from Stoke-on-Trent. Stuart was a education administrator before being diagnosed in 2021 with Alzheimer’s, Stuart lives with his wife Lorna who is also his main carer. Stuart enjoys watching the football, reading, listening to music and playing wordle. Stuart says he come to choir for stimulation, enjoyment and friendship.

Stuart P

Bill is 91 years young and from Edinburgh, moving to England with his wife Muriel when he was aged twenty-seven. He is a retired secondary school teacher and professional singer. He is supported by his daughter Deborah and three grandchildren.

Bill is living with Vascular Dementia, diagnosed in January 2020.

Bill says he attends Our Dementia Choir as it gets him out and he says it is nice to be singing again, as he loves singing!

Other than attending choir Bill loves going to the theatre, especially musicals and is an avid reader.

Bill

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Chris

Chris says he loves every minute of the choir and it's the highlight of the week for him!

 

He loves all the people involved, and it has been a real privilege to be a part of this wonderful group.

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Ingrid

Ingrid was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 65, she is now 71.

Her decline has been very rapid and the lockdown didn’t help.

Our daughter Hayley got in touch with the choir and we took her along. It’s had a huge impact on Ingrid, she’s been more alert and loves listening to music and seeing her new family, it’s such a lovely day out for us, and we have made some amazing friends.

Ingrid comes alive when she sees everyone and has a special bond with Vicky as they pull faces at each other!

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Mel

Mel was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Dementia in August 2021. He joined the choir about 5 months after the diagnosis. We spent 5 months not knowing what to do next with hardly any support after his diagnosis.

 

With Karen Bonser's invitation, Mel joined the choir. As a member of the choir Mel has found it very uplifting and the support he gets is outstanding. He looks forward to seeing his newfound friends whenever he attends rehearsals and events and doesn’t like to miss a single one.

 

Thanks to Vicky, Karen, Mark and Daniela, and everyone else involved in making our lives so much happier.

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Ahmed

Ahmed was diagnosed with mixed dementia nearly 4 years ago.

 

Being a member of the Our Dementia Choir has been an uplifting experience and he has made many new friends as a result of participating. 

He would like to thank Vicky, Karen, all volunteers, and most of all the choir for all their help and support. 

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Steve

Steve was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last June 2022 having been through a long referral system.

 

Then we were introduced to the lovely choir and this came at the best time ever, because Steve he has always sung professionally and socially.

 

And, even through this dreadful disease it lights up his face and gives him HAPPINESS, his best song will always be New York but he loves lots of songs …

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Robin

I first noticed changes in my speech in 2019 but was only diagnosed in Nov 2022 with PPA which affects all my communication, speaking, writing, and reading which is made worse under pressure.

I love being in the choir. I find it relaxing and joyful.

 

Singing has improved my ability to communicate significantly.
 

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Kev

Kevin has Alzeimers, Parkinsons and Lewy Body Dementia. He joined the choir in early 2022 and loves the rehearsals and performing with his new found friends.

 

He has always loved singing and belonged to an amateur band with his friends called "Kevin and the Kevinettes" who performed mainly for fun.

 

Kevin played Badminton at county level and was a veteran champion. He is also a black belt in Karate and was a part of the Great Britain Karate Squad who fought at the European Championships in Paris.

 

He now lives at Larkhill Retirement Village and his cheeky smile and corny one-liners have made him as popular there as he always has been.

Mel

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Trish

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Joyce is from Skegness and worked being a private carer before she got her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, Joyce has lots of support from her children Charlotte and Giles and loves seeing the rest of her family and friends while gardening or going for a walk. Joyce says she attends the choir because she loves singing and meeting people.

Joyce

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Brenda

Singing with Boots Choir and the Nottingham Hospital Choir, she has performed at the Concert Hall, Theatre Royal, Albert Hall and the opening of the Nottingham Ice Arena (as part of a 500 strong choir).

Brenda was diagnosed with dementia in 2015, and since the death of her husband, Alf, in 2020, has lived and been excellently cared for in The Conifers Rest Home in Bakersfields.

My name is Arthur John Rose but everybody calls me John. I used to be a bus driver for Nottingham City Transport. I am a very proud family man and have children and grandchildren. My hobbies used to include DIY but now I like to potter around my garden and keep my house tidy and run around playing with my youngest grandson. I loved to sing in the church choir when I as a lad and now I’m proud to be part of Our Dementia Choir.

John

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Louise

Louise is 64 years old originally from Rotherham, now living in the Peak District. Louise is married to Phil and has one son and one daughter. Louise worked as a national charity fundraising manager and hospice services manager.

Louise is living with young onset Alzheimer’s dementia since her diagnosis in December 2021.

Louise attends Our Dementia Choir because of her joy of singing, and the camaraderie and friendships they have made.

Louise likes socialising and when not at choir, Louise enjoys going out walking, going to the theatre and listening to music.

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Rita is 77 years old and recently joined the choir following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. She has very close family links with the choir – her daughter, Karen is the Charity Manager!  She lives in Swadlincote in Derbyshire but travels to Nottinghamshire to be part of this wonderful choir!  She loves singing and dancing – her favourite artist is Cliff Richard!  Once a waitress in a high-end restaurant, she loves interaction with people, and the choir has given that to both her and her husband, Gordon who accompanies her to all of the events.

Rita

Stuart is a local East Midlands lad, having been born in Nottingham and now living in Langley Mill.

He has worked in the hospitality industry as a singer, publican and brewers rep.  Stuart loves singing and has continued to enjoy his interest after his diagnosis of Dementia about 5 years ago.

He has enjoyed a busy family life with 3 now grown-up children, one of whom has competed in The Commonwealth Games!

Stuart and his wife have slotted easily into the Dementia Choir community and very much enjoy the social activities which they've taken part in, as a result.

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Stuart H

John is 80 years old and lives in Nottingham with his wife Helen, who is his main carer.

He has enjoyed several different careers over the years, including initially working as an engineer for East Midlands Electricity. He has always had a passion for Rugby, as a player and spectator. He was employed by the Rugby Union and very much enjoyed travelling the world in this role.

He has been living with Dementia since 2014 and has found Our Dementia Choir a very friendly setting in which to socialise with other people with dementia, by chatting and sharing experiences. 

John loves singing and socialising and at home enjoys his jigsaws. 

John E

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Barry is a 72-year-old Londoner. He moved out of London at the age of thirty and now lives in Nuthall. Barry is married to Susan, and has three daughters and two sons, four grandchildren and his dog Roger. He worked as a commercial interior designer and a barber.

Barry’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Dementia came in May 2023.

Barry loves singing, especially in a group, and says that coming to Our Dementia Choir is brilliant! Full of joy, laughter, and positivity.

Barry has many talents outside of choir. He is the captain of a green bowls team, enjoys fishing, playing cards, quizzes, and painting. Barry loves music and having lots of holidays with their dog.

Barry

Marylin

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