Simon Industrial Fellowship 2020

In partnership with Manchester Camerata, Creative Manchester facilitated a Simon Industrial Fellowship that explored the ‘in the moment’ impact of music in people with dementia.

From January to July 2020.

Partners: Manchester Camerata, Social Responsibility (The University of Manchester), Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester Innovation Factory, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, Dementia United.

Manchester Camerata
Manchester Camerata

The Fellowship, which centres on arts and health, was awarded to Helena Bull, Camerata in the Community Project Manager at Manchester Camerata. Over the course of six months, Helena worked across both the Camerata and the University, carrying out research on the health and wellbeing benefits of music in people affected by young onset dementia. Informed by this research, Helena created plans for a longer-term programme of work, which will provide post-diagnostic support and a creative outlet for people with young onset dementia as well as their families.

Creative Manchester has also facilitated Helena in a proposal for a new collaborative doctoral award. Presented by the University and Manchester Camerata, this project is aimed at identifying ‘moments’ in music making for people living with dementia. There is scope for the successful candidate to focus on young onset dementia or to draw comparisons between younger and later onset dementia, with additional opportunities to work in social or care settings. 

Working with a group of MBA students from the Alliance Manchester Business School, Helena also investigated commercialisation opportunities for Manchester Camerata’s Music in Mind project – group music therapy sessions for people with later onset dementia. Collaboration with the University’s Innovation Factory made it possible to develop a working plan of how to deliver Music in Mind remotely across Greater Manchester. An application was submitted to and granted by Innovate UK to carry out this work during Covid-19, which has led to the creation of a new online platform housing video tutorials and music-making resources aimed at upskilling care staff to deliver Music in Mind activities in their own care settings.

Helena’s Fellowship has strengthened the existing relationship between the University and Manchester Camerata, and has led to real-world applications of research on music and dementia. It has also highlighted a range of future projects that will tangibly improve the lives of those affected by dementia.