Helena Muller, the founder of South Yorkshire dementia charity Lost Chord, has stepped down from her role as Chief Executive. The nationally acclaimed charity, which has its office in Maltby, was launched by Helena in 1999. It was her vision and ground-breaking approach to engage young professional musicians to stimulate responses from people with dementia living in residential care homes and thereby to help improve their quality of life through interactive music sessions. Starting with just a handful of homes in South Yorkshire the charity has now grown with a network that extends to London, the Midlands and Wales.
Helena has now assumed the role of Lost Chord Founder and Ambassador and will assist with auditions and training days and will continue to give her moving talks about the power of music and dementia. The charity’s new chief executive is professional musician Clare Langan, who has been a flautist for Lost Chord for over 20 years.
“The work I do with Lost Chord has been integral to my growth both as a musician and more importantly as a human being,” she explained. “I have been a passionate ambassador for Lost Chord throughout my career and have supported our founder and chief executive Helena Muller in any way I could as the charity grew. In the summer of 2021 it was my honour to be asked by Helena to consider building on the incredible legacy to which she has devoted her entire life for the past 22 years.
“The opportunity to navigate Lost Chord through the rapidly changing post pandemic world, along with the challenge to constantly evolve and serve in order to be the absolute best that Lost Chord can be, is something I would only be able to consider integrating into my work portfolio with the support of an actively engaged, strategically orientated and highly skilled board of Trustees. In addition, Lost Chord has a work force of exceptional, world class musicians and volunteers who deliver the outstanding interactive music sessions that the charity is renowned for providing.
“Moving forward in a sustainable way and maximising to their potential donations and funding will facilitate the greatest social impact possible which is integral to the ethos of Lost Chord. Having taken part in so many Lost Chord events over the years, I really do know the impact that live music can have on people living with dementia. It is both moving and uplifting to see how music can reach out to people who too often have withdrawn entirely from the world around them.
“During lockdown we were able to continue to provide music to those with dementia in care homes with online music sessions via YouTube that proved a real lifeline to people who were cut off from all contact with the outside world. However, there is nothing that can beat a full live music session, where you really do see and feel the impact music has on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society, people for whom music has quite often become their sole means of engaging with the world.”
To find out more about Lost Chord and how you can get involved and make a difference please get in touch.