Dementia Choir response phenomenal but ongoing lack of funding ‘frustrating’ – Vicky McClure

Vicky McClure says the response to her BBC show Our Dementia Choir was “phenomenal” but that the ongoing lack of funding for those affected by the condition is “frustrating”.

The Line of Duty actress, 39, said dementia was “almost a forgotten disease” and that she was “really scared” about those grappling with care-costs as well as other current economic problems.

McClure (pictured) formed the Nottingham-based musical group in 2019, after her late grandmother Iris’ diagnosis of Alzheimer’s taught her the healing power of music.

The subsequent documentary to raise awareness of dementia culminated in a performance in front of 2,000 people at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall.

“People’s response to the TV show has been phenomenal, but it’s also really frustrating because there’s still so little funding for people with dementia,” she told the Radio Times, ahead of the show’s follow-up series: Our Dementia Choir Sings Again.

“I wish I could find a cure, but I can’t, so my mission is to create noise for people living with dementia.

“Dementia choirs are not only cost-effective, but they are also scientifically proven to help.”

Our Dementia Choir Sings Again will see McClure reunited with members of the choir, as well as some new recruits.

The first episode of the new series sees the choir record a charity single at Abbey Road Studios, the first dementia choir to do so, which is due to be released around the time the episode airs.

McClure said that the public perception of dementia was misconstrued as a condition that only affected older people, pointing out that earlier diagnoses were becoming more common.

She also voiced concern about how those caring for loved ones with dementia would struggle amid the ongoing UK economic turmoil.

“The cost of care for dementia is extortionate,” she told the Radio Times.

“People will be struggling with energy bills and then wondering if they can afford to put a loved one in a care home.

“I’m really, really scared about how this will play out.”

Our Dementia Choir Sings Again is due to air on Monday October 10 on BBC One at 9pm.

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2022, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Alzheimer’s Society / PA.