Wiltshire teacher launches musical challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK

By Jamie Hill - 1 April 2021


James Allard from Devizes is launching a unique social media challenge to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

The 48-year-old music teacher and former radio presenter, who is fundraising for dementia research with a lyrical challenge, was inspired by his late mother, Joyce Allard, who had Alzheimer’s disease.


When Joyce was in a care home, towards the end of her life, she had trouble remembering who her son was. She nevertheless was still able to recall nearly all the words to her favourite songs from The Sound of Music. The care home workers sent James a moving clip of her singing along.


Inspired by the power of music, James is asking people to take to social media for his 7 Lyric Challenge. It’s a simple but powerful idea, as James explains:


“We are asking people to post a favourite song lyric on their social media each day for 7 days, with a link to my 7 Lyric Challenge fundraising page. Each day they should tag a friend, and I’m asking for a donation of just £7 (or whatever you can afford) to Alzheimer’s Research UK, so that other families in the future can be spared the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.


“Right up to the end of her life, Mum’s face would light up when she heard a song she loved. I want to channel the wonderful significance of music in our lives to both honour Mum and help Alzheimer’s Research UK to make breakthroughs possible.”


The 7 Lyric Challenge is launching on 12 April, and James is hopeful that as many people as possible will hear about it and join in the fun.


“Almost everybody will have songs that are important to them – maybe just a lyric that makes you smile, something that takes you back to a holiday, a first date or another happy memory.”


James Warren, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:


“We’re so grateful to James for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK. Dementia affects a significant proportion of the population – one in three people over 65 in the UK will die with some form of the condition. Fantastic fundraising efforts like this will help us to make life-changing research breakthroughs for people with dementia.


“I also think that this will be a great challenge for people to take part in with their friends and family, helping people to share their important memories and connect with each other.”


James aims to raise a minimum of £1,300 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, which powers world-class studies focusing on prevention, diagnosis and treatments for dementia. There are almost one million people living with dementia in the UK but there are currently no treatments to slow, stop or prevent the diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, that cause it.


For more information about the challenge, including ideas for innovative ways to join in, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/7lyrics

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