THE music and dementia support charity set up by a former Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year has been chosen from more than 400 charities as one of two overall winners of a major national award.

Playlist for Life, founded by broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson, receives an extra £10,000 on top of £30,000 already awarded in the 2020 GSK IMPACT Awards.

Dementia is the biggest cause of death in the UK, and 850,000 people in the UK currently live with the condition. Playlist for Life wants everyone with dementia to have a unique, personal playlist, based on evidence from Stanford University showing that playing familiar music to people with dementia can help to reduce distress and the need for medication. The charity ran a trial in a Glasgow care home, which found that using personal playlists led to a 60 percent reduction in the use of medication for some residents to help them manage distressed behaviours.

The Glasgow charity now has 900 Help Points where people can access information and guidance and has trained more than 6000 health and care staff in the last six years.

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Katie Pinnock, Director of UK Charitable Partnerships at GSK, said: “We were so impressed with Playlist for Life’s incredible impact helping people with dementia. It has taken a simple concept and used it to deliver profound results, providing a way to connect to the past and helping families living with dementia.”

Michelle Armstrong-Surgenor, Executive Director at Playlist for Life, said: “This funding, training and development helps us to reach even more people living with dementia, their families and carers, who have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. We’re thankful to GSK and The King’s Fund for helping us reach even more people.”