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Final Chord for Dementia sufferers
Final Chord is designed to stimulate responses from dementia sufferers through music, song and dance.

A Rotherham charity that provides music therapy for dementia sufferers says it is struggling to cope with the loss of £8000 of funding from the council.

Lost Chord is a charity which arranges for musicians to perform in residential care homes and day centres across South Yorkshire. They lost their funding from Rotherham Council in March 2009. Consequently the Arts Council and Big Lottery stopped funding the project which costs £200,000 to run every year.

The charity was founded in 1999 and performs over 850 concerts every year designed to stimulate responses from dementia sufferers through music, song and dance.

Helena Muller is the Chief Executive of Lost Chord: "It's amazing how music is often the last thing that opens that little door and somehow music gets right into their very soul.

"Music is often the only thing that stimulates the most amazing responses from people who wouldn't normally show a response at all.

"When local authority money was withdrawn it meant that we hadn't got the seed funding to apply for funding elsewhere throughout the country and that seed funding is absolutely crucial. It's staggering how £8000 can attract the £200,000 that we need to stand still - basically to run the system as it stands."

The charity asks for a £45 contribution from the home or centre they perform in, but the full cost is £220 for each concert.

They have managed to get some Big Lottery funding back, but Helena says they still need to find extra money to keep up with the demand for their services.

At least 30 care homes including one in Guernsey are on the charity's waiting list but they simply cannot afford to meet that demand.

Patrons of the charity include Sir Cliff Richard, Lesley Garrett CBE and The Forces Sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn DBE.

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