Playlist for Life

The image titled "When Sally met Harry" is courtesy of Playlist for Life; other images above are courtesy of Johnstone Syer and may not be reproduced without their respective permission.

Sally's Playlist charity gets into the swing

IN the words of broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson, Dunfermline on 8th November became not only Scotlands first Playlist for Life city but also the first to host a Playlist tea dance in aid of her charity that connects dementia sufferers and their memories through personally meaningful music.

Sally told the 150 supporters who converged on the Glen Pavilion for the Forties retro event that the tea-dance format piloted in Dunfermline by local supporters, led by treasurer and trustee Fiona Haro - would be uploaded to the charitys website to enable other fund-raisers to roll out the Playlist concept nationwide.

Sally explained how she had discovered the power of meaningful personal music during her familys own dementia journey with her late mother, Mamie.

And she recalled how she had embarked last year on her mission to tell families and care-givershow sufferers can be shown through a gateway to a restored sense of identity and self-hoodbyaccess, via iPods or similar digital devices, to personalised playlists in which their past experiences and memories are embedded.

Sporting Forties fashions and retro coiffures crafted by Munroe Hairdressing, the tea-dancesupporters be-popped for three hours to swing band, Baby Isaac.

Playlist for Life launcheda pilot training project earlier this year in Dunfermline, with funding from the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and an iPod donation drive led by the Rotary Club of Dunfermline.

The charity is now also working with more than half of Scotlands health boards, a number of English hospital trusts and a growing number of UK care homes.

 SALLY Magnussons best-seller, Where Memories Go, is not only a moving memoir of her late mothers long struggle with dementia but a challenging manifesto to upscale the use of music in the care of the most fragile of our citizens.

Now the journalist, writer and broadcaster - who has anchored such programmes as Reporting Scotland and Songs of Praise - will tell the biggest story of my life at a special event in Dunfermlines Glen Pavilion on Wednesday, 30th April to launch a pilot training programme and donation drive which her charity, Playlist for Life, hopes to roll out as a national model.

Driven by her own poignant experience of her late mothers dementia, Sally founded the charity to bring the beneficial power of personally meaningful music to people living with dementia, in home or residential-care settings, by encouraging families and care-givers to create a playlist of uniquely meaningful music on an iPod or similar device.

In tandem with the charitys wider research to test the playlist approach as a post-diagnostic tool in the treatment of all kinds of dementia, the Rotary Club of Dunfermline is now preparing to collect disused iPods as part of a training pilot funded by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust.

The Dunfermline pilot, run by Playlist for Life trustee and trainer Andy Lowndes, will work with staff from care homes, voluntary groups working with people with dementia in the community and family carers, who will be provided with specialist training and IT equipment to allow them to constructand load personal playlists, enabling people with dementia to have access to their playlist whenever needed.

Rotary club president Alan Mutter, said, Many local families have been touched by dementia, which Sally describes as one of the greatest social, medical, economic and moral challenges of our times. Our donation drive - led by Past-president David Steele - is appealing to members of the public to support the pilot by dropping surplus iPods and related equipment into special bins which will be located at Waterstones bookstore inDunfermlineand other central locations.

Past-president Angus Hogg - whose accountant daughter, Fiona Haro, is a trustee and treasurer of the charity - told fellow Rotarians that Dunfermline Abbey Youth Group had also assembled a team of 15 volunteers to serve as 'youth ambassadors' and assist in loading iPods with personalised playlists.

He said that while in the Dunfermline and Rosyth area, there were over 1300 women and more than 600 men living with dementia, the devastating impacts of the disease were felt throughout whole families.

He added, If this pilot works in Dunfermline, it is a community project that can work anywhere. The programme is designed to create a model that can be rolled out to other towns and communities. The club's donation drive, as a Rotary project, also has the potential to go national."

Robin Watson, chairman of the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, said, Trustees have committed a grant of over 10,000 towards the local Playlist pilot project which will involve the acquisition of equipment, work with care-home staff and families, specialist training, creation of playlists and testing and evaluation. We believe that supporting this pilot will go some way towards helping the growingnumbers of families in Dunfermline affected by this cruel disease.

Dunfermline has been picked for this pilot as the size of the community provides a balanced cross-section of those affected by dementia, both within family homes and residential care. Of those diagnosed with dementia in Fife, approximately 63.5% live in their own home in the community, while the remaining 36.5% live in long-term care.

There is growing body of international research that if people with dementia are offered frequent access to the music in which their past experience and memories are embedded, it can improve their mood and awareness, their ability to think and interact and their sense of identity and independence.

Tickets for An Evening with Sally Magnusson are available, priced 4 (inclusive of a glass of wine), from Waterstones Bookshop in Dunfermline or at the Dunfermline Abbey shop. The launch event begins at 7pm and includes a post-talk glass of wine.

Rotary helps Dunfermline become

Scotlands first Playlist town


THE Rotary Club of Dunfermline, with its record of pioneering community projects, was proud to be spearheading the equipment donation drive for the Playlist for Life pilot project in Dunfermline a potential model for roll-out across Scotland and the UK with wider Rotary collaboration.

So declared Senior Vice-President Graham Steedmanwhen he re-affirmedto an audience of 270 at the launch event in the Glen Pavilion on 30th April the Rotarians pledge of support for this exciting joint enterprise in partnership with Sally Magnusson's charityand the pilot project funders, the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust.

He observed that the venue had many associations with Andrew Carnegie, the great Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist, who gifted Pittencrieff Park to the people of his native Dunfermline in 1903.

The great entrepreneur gave his 20 and more foundations worldwide many challenging and pioneering remits. It is in that spirit that the Rotary Club of Dunfermline is delighted to help to pilot Playlist for Life's pioneering programme by picking up the challenge of organising the drive for the donation by the local community of surplus iPods and related equipment.

He reminded his audience that the Rotary Club was no stranger to launching pioneering enterprises from the events splendid setting. The club piloted in Scotland the Kids Out concept of fun picnics in the park for children

additional support needs. The idea has since been adopted as a community service project by other Scottish clubs and indeed the project continues to flourish here in The Glen where, with sister West Fife clubs, we will be staging the 2014 event in June.

Rotarians are confident that the ground-breaking Playlist initiative will be equally successfully and take root - again with wider Rotary collaboration - as a

model which can be rolled out nationwide. But that, of course, will largely depend on the wider public response to our equipment appeals.

Please spread the word and carry out a spring clean of your unwanted or discarded iPods, or similar devices, and deposit them in the special badged collection cages which, from tonight onwards, will be appearing in key local locationsinitially Waterstones, Dunfermline.

He cited the human and care costs of dementia:44m sufferers worldwide, 800,000 in the UK, 88,000 in Scotland and 7000 in Fife, with a care cost to the UK of 23 billion - more than the care cost of stroke, heart disease and cancer combined.

Thats why Dunfermline Rotary Club is proud to be involved in this project. The call from Playlist for Life, the Carnegie Trust and Rotary Club is:  Help us to help you and others.

Fellow Rotarian David Walker, newly installed vice-chairman of the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, told the launch, Andrew Carnegie challenged his trustees from Day One to look for innovative and worthwhile projects to assist the people of Dunfermline. It took about a millisecond for Angus to persuade the trustees to endorse the project.

He pointed to estimates that the number of sufferers diagnosed in Dunfermline and West Fife with Alzheimers Disease would, by 2030, be equivalent to double the combined rolls of the four Dunfermline high schoolsa statistic he described as astonishing and one of our greatest challenges over the generation.

He explained the trust grant of 10,000 would underwrite the cost of hardware and training manuals for a six-month period to pilot a project which he said would undoubtedly be rolled out elsewhere.

It is great to see Dunfermline at the forefront of innovative ideas like this in Scotland and the UK, he said.

Sally told the packed Glen Pavilion that Dunfermline, now hosting the head office of her charity, had simply come up trumps in embracing her vision. The Carnegie Dunfermline Trust had stepped in with a welcome 10k grant; the Abbey has provided office space and lent us a wonderful group of youth ambassadors; and the Rotary Club of Dunfermline was running the iPod donation drive.

She concluded, "Thank-you, Dunfermline, for all you are doing to help...and congratulations on becoming Scotland's first Playlist town!"