A grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has helped expand the reach of a North Durham charity that aims to use music to heal and soothe.
The Room 217 Foundation received a grant of $ 149,600 in October 2020 which it used to rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 by expanding the digital capacity to provide musical care to caregivers and the elderly. The funds, secured through Trillium’s Resilient Communities Fund, were also used to adapt and expand the operational infrastructure with a new server and laptops for remote staff work.
“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant cannot be underestimated,” said Bev Foster, Executive Director of the Room 217 Foundation, in a statement. “This grant has allowed us to fully enter the digital ecosystem both operationally and in terms of program delivery. Musical treatments are now available to those we serve 24/7. We hope to expand our digital footprint into new care environments and care applications using music to enhance care experiences for more people. “
The Room 217 Foundation is a social enterprise that changes the culture of care by making music a more primary approach to health and wellness that allows caregivers – formal and informal – to integrate music into their practice.
With the grant money, the Room 217 Foundation created a new “musiccare” website – www.musiccare.org – as well as a “musiccare CONNECT application”, both of which were launched on October 1.
The app includes over 700 specially designed songs, videos and activities that allow caregivers to personalize care through music. It also includes a variety of categories, ranging from Dementia, Rock, Calm and Travel to Instrumental, 1920-1950, First Nations, and Hospice Care.
“Room 217 inspired music therapy as we know it today and the results have been exceptional,” Scugog Mayor Bobbie Drew said in an online announcement Oct. 6.
In some cases, the mayor said, dementia patients have had their “vivid memories” as they reacted and sang along to tunes from long ago.
“It’s so moving to see how music promotes healing of mind, body and soul,” she said.
Dave Saunders, chair of Trillium’s local grant review team, said the new app “is not only impacting people locally, but on a broader basis in the province because of its appearance. in line “.
Saunders added, “At the end of the day, everything about this grant is fine with us. “
The impact of the grant, Room 217 Foundation officials said in the statement, “is felt daily by the team and those they serve, as many frontline workers have turned to program delivery. digital music during the pandemic. Thanks to the $ 149,600 grant, people in all health care settings will have access to musical care. “
The musiccare CONNECT app is available on the Google Play and Apple Store platforms. It costs $ 9.99 per month for individual subscriptions and there is also a 30-day free trial.