Chief Executive of Lost Chord has been awarded an honorary doctorate
And as she received her honour in a special ceremony for the installation of the new Chancellor at the University of Sheffield, Helena Muller dedicated the doctorate to the thousands of people across the country who are struggling with dementia.
Helena, who received her doctorate from the new Chancellor, the Rt Hon Lady Justice Rafferty DBE, also paid tribute to the musicians, volunteers and staff of Lost Chord who work throughout the year to provide a full programme of musical events.
It is a cause that was inspired by a family tragedy for when Helena’s younger sister Annette suffered a brain haemorrhage, Helena discovered that one of the few things she could recall were the words of the old Motown hits of her youth.
Understanding that link between music and memory inspired Helena to embark on her mission to use music to reach out to people with dementia, using a nationwide network of young professional musicians to provide stimulating programmes of classics and popular hits.
Following the ceremony Helena commented: “I am truly proud and honoured, but also very humbled to have been presented with a doctorate by the University of Sheffield but as ever I can only emphasis that I am simply the figurehead of an organisation that involves many people doing extraordinary work all year round.
“I am proud of everybody who is working with Lost Chord, particularly Kim Bottomley and Cheryl Allen working tirelessly in the office along with all the incredible musicians who devote themselves to transforming the lives of those with dementia and the wonderful volunteers who are dedicated to helping them. I am proud to think that we are making a very real difference to so many lives, for anybody who has ever seen a Lost Chord concert will tell you that the power of music is truly extraordinary in the way that it touches lives.”