posted on May 13th, 2024

Dementia NI Releases Single and Music Video

This Dementia Action Week (13th – 19th May), local charity Dementia NI has released a unique single and music video, written by Dementia NI members and local singer-songwriter Cora Kelly, giving those newly diagnosed with dementia hope that they aren’t alone and there is support available to help them live as well as possible.

The single and music video will raise funds for Dementia NI, a member-led charity which empowers local people with dementia to live well and drive positive change in dementia services and in the community.

Dementia NI members, all of whom are living with dementia, created the lyrics to ‘The Journey’, with singer-songwriter Cora Kelly putting their words to music. The message of the song is clear: life goes on after a diagnosis and with support it is possible to live will with dementia.

Dementia NI member Allison Batchelor, 64, from Belfast, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, said: “Traditionally, music performers have released songs in the charts that have focused on family members or carers’ experiences and feelings about their loved ones with dementia. We, the Dementia NI members, wanted to turn the tables and take a stand on the stigma around dementia. We wanted the public to hear OUR voices through song to give those recently diagnosed some hope and help everyone understand what it’s like living with dementia from our perspectives.”

The song shines a light on what it feels like to receive a diagnosis, with each verse representing a different stage in the dementia journey, moving from shock and fear through to acceptance and hope.

A heart-warming video accompanies the track, starring Dementia NI members and giving insight into their day-to-day lives, showing that you can be active and keep doing the things you enjoy following your diagnosis.

Dementia NI member Martin McHugh, 72, from Belfast, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease aged 63, explained how the piece was composed: “Cora Kelly came to our Empowerment Groups and really listened as we each told our diagnosis stories. Then she went away and put our words and perspectives to music. It moves me to tears when I listen to it. It’s very true to what those of us who have received a diagnosis are going through.

“We named the song ‘The Journey’ because it describes the journey you go through when you receive a dementia diagnosis. I was in a bad place initially when I got my diagnosis. It takes time and strength to come to terms with it but there is help out there – from family, friends and organisations like Dementia NI. Their Empowerment Groups changed my life and helped me connect with other people with a diagnosis at a time when I felt very low. It gave me hope and a will to carry on and made me realise I could have a good life.”

Dementia NI currently has around 14 Dementia Empowerment Groups across Northern Ireland. These groups provide a place for local people who have been diagnosed with dementia – and are in the early to middle stages of the condition – to come together to provide life-changing peer support to one another and to drive positive change in dementia services and in the community.

Singer-songwriter Cora Kelly, from Killough, County Down, added: “It’s been a pleasure working with Dementia NI members across Northern Ireland. My meetings with them have challenged my own assumptions about dementia. It’s fantastic that Dementia NI members are so positive and are living happy and fulfilled lives. They’re doing an amazing job in bringing awareness to this condition.”

Dementia NI Communications Lead, Jane Gillow, said: “We hope everyone loves ‘The Journey’ as much as we do! We couldn’t be prouder of our members for creating such inspiring lyrics and sharing the message that there is still life to live following a diagnosis. Research shows that one in three of us will develop dementia in our lifetime. We want to highlight that our Empowerment Groups are here for those with a diagnosis of dementia, in the early to middle stages of the condition, to access life-changing peer support, make new friends and be part of their community. This Dementia Action Week, we’re calling on everyone to get behind ‘The Journey’ and donate vital funds to Dementia NI.”

To watch the music video and donate to Dementia NI, visit:

Alternatively, the single is available to download on iTunes:

Dementia NI members.
The official cover for Cora Kelly and Dementia NI’s single.

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