Peter Quinn Friendship Group (PQFG) are a volunteer-led community group based on Crowcroft Road in Longsight.
Their members come from across South Manchester, mainly Burnage, Ladybarn, Fallowfield, Levenshulme and Gorton. They offer support and activities for anyone in these communities affected by dementia or other cognitive changes.
PFQG host interactive Dementia Support sessions every Wednesday for their service users, 50% of which have dementia, and they encourage anyone to attend. They and their volunteers keep up this fantastic work in order to reduce the feelings of isolation that many of their attendees can experience given their age and cognitive function.
We Love MCR previously gave an award from our Stronger Communities Fund to PQFG in 2022, to bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic, the impact of which only worsened the pre-existing isolation experienced by their members. Before the pandemic they used to have up to 70 people attending each week but in Summer 2021, when normality resumed, they saw just 27.
They run their free sessions with a light lunch, bingo, raffle and a quiz but, most importantly, live singers. As you can see from the video below, the attendees love their live music! The benefits of music to people living with dementia are well-known, with NHS England saying:
“It can help reduce anxiety and depression, help maintain speech and language, enhances quality of life and has a positive impact on carers.”
PQFG applied to our Stronger Communities Fund to support the provision of music in their Dementia Support sessions, with the intent to encourage their members to get out of the house and enjoy social activities in a group setting. They told us that attending their group every week keeps routines, engages services users, and helps them be part of a community.
We are delighted to fund PQFG with an award of £4,000 from our Stronger Communities Fund to ensure their incredible bunch of volunteers can bring in live music for their members each week for the best part of an entire year!
Marion Quinn, Founder of PQFG, said about the last funding we gave them:
“Our group has grown from strength to strength over the past 12 months. With the help from We Love MCR providing funding for our live music, we are seeing 80 service users on average per session. Live music is a great tool to help with people who live with dementia. It brings back memories, lifts their moods and gets them up dancing. With the cost of living crisis we certainly wouldn't have been able to continue running this year without the funding.”
This grant comprehensively addresses the ‘reducing social isolation’ theme of our Stronger Communities Fund. Peter Quinn Friendship Group says they measure the success of their work by the smiles on member’s faces, and by that measure their success is huge - we hope to keep seeing their members smiling and dancing!