2022 in review
Nick Cave - from “Faith, Hope and Carnage”
Over the course of 2022, we worked with our unique team of talented professional musicians to deliver more than 130 live music sessions.
Here are a few highlights of the year:
Next Generation showcase, which we live-streamed from Bridgeside Lodge on Arts in Care Homes Day in September. This was a memorable day of live music featuring young musicians (our Next Generation artists from ages 9-15) performing alongside four Spitz professionals.
Through our growing relationship with Northwick Park Hospital we were asked to participate in a two-week pilot study on geriatric wards, in collaboration with dementia consultant Dr Mahua Chatterjee, measuring the effects of live music on older patients. Spitz musicians delivered sessions for patients and staff on the same ward every day for two weeks. Ward staff asked the patients to score their mood on a scale of 1-5 twice a day; before the musicians arrived and again after the session.
An improvement in mood was reported in 88% of responses in which a change occurred. It was really interesting to discover that moods actually remained elevated overnight. The generation of empirical evidence of the impact of live music confirmed what we have witnessed over many years working with people living with dementia.
Chart 1 - Increase in mood in respondents who reported a change. (AM to PM)
Chart 2 - 3 day moving average mood increase over the course of the 10 day pilot.
The presentation of this data has helped us to secure new funding to build on the research going forward.
We continued our songwriting thread with residents at BSL, including JR. A rising star, he has co-written four songs with guitarist Nat Keen, all which have hit potential. Listen to their latest work ‘Why Does Love Hurt So Much?’.
Regularly visiting the same residents at BSL has enabled us to build genuine relationships with both our beneficiaries and their families, providing them with emotional support through music. Most recently this has led to two of our musicians Alice Zawadzki and Fred Thomas being asked by a family member to play in the tender last moments of their mother’s life and then again at her funeral. In Alice’s words ‘to be part of such an intimate moment was more than a privilege’.
We celebrated significant dates in the calendar, including:
The Queen’s Jubilee
The Summer Solstice
The Winter Solstice
We contributed to the research for The Baring Foundation’s report ‘Every Care Home a Creative Home’, looking at the creative potential of care homes. The report featured Bridgeside Lodge’s very own JC as its cover star!
We were twice featured in the Islington Tribune in articles by journalist Anna Lamche. A profile of The Spitz was published in August and in December the paper featured a visit to BSL by local MP Rt. Hon Emily Thornberry.
In 2023 we will be celebrating 10 years of The Spitz Charitable Trust and we have some very exciting plans bubbling away to celebrate this milestone in true Spitz style! Stay tuned for news…
Over the year we plan to expand our reach, visiting more care homes, hospitals and other locations where people are living in isolation.
For the first time in three years we will be allowed back into day centres. We’ve scheduled our first event at New Park Day Centre (Islington) for Blue Monday - (thought to be the most depressing day of the year.) We will hold three sessions that day, in three locations, for maximum impact.
We will be further expanding our research at Northwick Park Hospital. Participating in new studies with patients on the geriatric and stroke wards, to further understand the effect of live music on the wellbeing of patients and staff.
Building on the success of our Next Generation pilot project, we will be collaborating with a local school to incorporate cross-generational music sessions as part of our core programming at Bridgeside Lodge, offering residents the chance to engage with young musicians more regularly.
Meanwhile, there are only five days left of our Winter Fundraiser, please donate if you’re able to. The money will enable us to visit Northwick Park Hospital more frequently between now and the end of February. Flu-season is a particularly awful time to be stuck in hospital away from loved ones. Live music can help to relieve this sense of isolation as well as alleviating some of the pressure on staff.
A huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far, to our outstanding musicians and to our collaborators at Bridgeside Lodge Care Home, Northwick Park Hospital, St. Pancras Hospital and Riverview Lodge for continuing to champion our work.
Happy New Year to one and all!
Love from The Spitz