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Organised by Mental Health Lecturer Dean McShane, who is based at the University of Chester’s Warrington Campus, the special tea party will see around 30 local residents who live with dementia and their carers gather together at The Halliwell Jones stadium, the home of Warrington Wolves Rugby League club, on Thursday, September 26.

BBC Music Day is the UK-wide, annual celebration of the power of music to change lives, with over a thousand events across the UK and broadcasts on TV, radio and digital platforms with a different theme each year. With its focus on music and wellbeing, BBC Music Day 2019 will kick-start its initiative to help bring music to everyone living with dementia by 2020, working with all major organisations in this field to achieve this.

The University’s Warrington Campus recently became a Playlist for Life help point, where volunteers have been trained to help families or care staff develop a soundtrack to the life of a person living with dementia. Playlist for Life is a charity that would like to see everyone with dementia to have a unique, personal playlist and everyone who loves or cares for them to know how to use it. Building a personal playlist means exploring someone's life story to gather the tunes that are most deeply attached to memories and emotions.

Dean has a long history of encouraging students and staff at the Campus to explore and experience dementia training. He has formed partnerships with Warrington Wolves and the local community dementia charity, Hope View Farm, and has connected his student nurses at the Warrington Campus with the Alzheimer’s Society dementia charity.

Through a Dementia Buddies scheme, which he helped to set up, students have been partnered with individuals from local care homes and supported them to attend Warrington Wolves matches this season. So far, he has created more than 2,000 Dementia Friends at the University and helped the Campus to gain the Dementia Friendly Campus status. 

Dean said: “I’m so looking forward to this event and seeing our student volunteers, local residents and staff at Warrington Wolves come together to celebrate BBC Music Day. I’m so proud of everyone involved in making it happen and hope it will bring much joy to all involved.”

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