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Primary pupils join pensioners with dementia for heart warming singing in Kensal Green

PUBLISHED: 10:56 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:08 17 May 2019

Newfield Primary School visit Elders Voice. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Newfield Primary School visit Elders Voice. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Jonathan Goldberg

Primary school children are connecting with dementia sufferers in a six-week song and dance project in Kensal Green.

Newfield Primary School pupil. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergNewfield Primary School pupil. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

Pupils from Newfield Primary School have enjoyed weekly sessions at Elders Voice in Mortimer Road as part of a project by Harlesden based the Music Project.

Singing hearty traditional tunes such as 'Oh What a Beautiful Morning' and 'Aye Aye Yippee' has brought the two generations together.

Funded by Tescos's Bags of Help and Groundwork UK, the project allows 10 children to spend time at the charity learning songs, playing music and integrating with 15 men and women living with dementia.

On Tuesday they will join for a final performance at the school in Longstone Avenue to coincide with Dementia Action Week.

Mary Edmonds with Newfield Primary School pupils. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergMary Edmonds with Newfield Primary School pupils. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

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Amy, 8, told the Kilburn Times: "I like it, they are nice. We do a lot of singing here and I talk to them. I introduce myself and also I'm nice to them."

Kumeisha, 9, said: "It's very fun. I like the experience with the elder people, they are very funny and I like taking pictures with them."

Ashleigh Dunn, director of the Music Project, said: "They all join in. It gets the day centre users active, singing and up on their feet. Having children around them gives them energy and it brings back a lot of memories for them.

Idina Ishmail dances with Newfield Primary School pupils. Picture: Jonathan GoldbergIdina Ishmail dances with Newfield Primary School pupils. Picture: Jonathan Goldberg

"One lady suffers from paranoia and when she's singing she forgets all that."

Marion Willmott, a teaching assistant from Newfield Primary, said: "It's been an extremely valuable experience for the children. They've come here and looked forward to spending time with the different characters. The rest of the children are asking if they can do it aswell.

Kensal Rise singer songwriter Laura Matthews accompanies them on the piano. "Everybody throws themselves into it. The music really bonded everyone."

Jenny Davison, chief exec of Elders Voice said: "These sessions are just wonderful. The majority of the elders in the day centre have dementia and it changes the dynamic when young people come, especially children. Singing is so therapeutic and people with dementia need therapy so it's win-win all round."

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