Harnessing the power of music with The National Lottery Community Fund and City of London Sinfonia

We are delighted to share that we have received funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and a private donor to launch a new music therapy programme. The programme which will be run by and has been created in partnership with City of London Sinfonia (CLS) will bring monthly music therapy sessions to patients visiting our Day Care Unit.

Music therapy aligns with a holistic approach to palliative and end-of-life care and can bring about tangible health and well-being benefits for patients living with life-limiting illnesses. It can utilise a variety of different techniques including singing, songwriting, lyric analysis, and music-making with a variety of different instruments.

City of London Sinfonia cellist, Abi Hyde-Smith, led the session with animateur John Webb, where patients were invited to make their own music and even conduct the group.

Through these techniques, patients can develop new skills and knowledge, express themselves and their creativity and experience moments of joy or relaxation. Music can also provide patients with an emotional outlet and an alternative way of communicating their thoughts or any anxieties and fears they may be struggling with. It can also bring back memories of positive times in their life.

Earlier this year, we held a taster workshop with the City of London Sinfonia at the Day Care Unit. The workshop was led by CLS animateur John Webb and cellist Abi Hyde-Smith, who made music with the participants and encouraged them to explore their creativity – both as individuals and as a group.

The session was planned in collaboration with our Day Care Unit staff and CLS to ensure that it would suit the different interests, personalities, and energy levels of patients visiting the unit that day. It aimed to build on their confidence, sense of self and fun, as well as build and strengthen relationships within the group, and that it certainly did.

“I felt terrible this morning, but I was determined to come in as I knew there was going to be music. I’m so glad I did. Making music as a group completely cheered me up, it was such fun.”


At the beginning of the session, the group listened to some music played by John and Abi, and then quickly moved on to conducting and creating music themselves using a variety of instruments. It wasn’t long before our staff, volunteers and ambulance drivers joined the session too, with the music and laughter being heard down the hospice corridors.

The taster session was loved by our patients, staff, and volunteers, so we are absolutely delighted that we will be able to introduce a permanent music therapy programme thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund and the support of a private donor.

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