The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has won a National Dementia Friendly Award in the Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year – Small and Medium category.

The orchestra’s education and outreach programme, BSO Participate, offers people across the south and south west the opportunity to engage with and experience music through five distinct strands of activity. The Boost strand focuses on health and wellbeing through music, and includes projects for people living with dementia and their carers in a range of different settings.

Over the last 12 months, the BSO has delivered 92 separate sessions to 3,243 people, aged from five months to 100 years.

These projects include Music for a While, a series of workshops and performances for people living with dementia in acute hospital settings, and the Cake Concerts, performances for those living with dementia and their friends, family and carers.

Dougie Scarfe, chief executive of the BSO, described the award as ‘an outstanding tribute to the superb work of the BSO team in using music to empower the lives of those living with dementia and their careers and families.’

He continued: ‘It’s really important for us to engage with all members of the community and if you are no longer able to attend our concerts or the symphony hall then it is important to us that your relationship with BSO does not end. For us the power of music is all encompassing even if you have lost the ability to communicate in some way, music is an absolute combined communication force.’