THE Salvation Army is launching a singing group in Carnforth for people living with dementia.

The Singing By Heart project will encourage carers and people with dementia to sing classic songs and hymns at an hour-long singalong on the first Monday of every month.

The first session is this Monday (July 1) at 2pm at the Salvation Army on Preston Street, Carnforth.

The project's motto is "A glad heart makes a cheerful face" and the monthly singing drop-in will cost 50 pence, with refreshments and cake provided.

Territorial Envoy Gay Tonks, leader of the Salvation Army Carnforth, said: “With the recent rise in people being diagnosed as living with dementia we wanted to utilise our building and facilities to support those living with the condition and their carers.

“Dementia can be very isolating but music can be a communication tool for everyone; it is stored in the brain and we hope our Singing by Heart sessions will give people in the local area a reason to get out of the house and meet new people.”

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates more than 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK - predicted to increase to more than one million by 2025.

The Salvation Army created the Singing By Heart programme in response to these figures, and to give people a way of recalling happy memories from their past.

Songs will include This Little Light of Mine, All Things Bright and Beautiful, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Rock Around the Clock and Bring Me Sunshine.

Gay added: “We have always been known in the area for our youth work and so wanted to open our doors, and hearts, to a wider group, addressing the needs of the elderly within our community.

“The Singing by Heart sessions come as part of the revamp of our Monday Fellowship programme which has a range of activities for like-minded members of the community; from Craft and Chatter to Lunch Club.”

The Salvation Army's activities in Carnforth include Sunday worship at 10.30am; a charity shop on Market Street; coffee morning on Wednesdays from 10am to 11.30am; and Alcoholics Anonymous on Thursdays from 7.45pm to 9.15pm. For more, see