The Nature of the Beast: Dennis Skinner reveals why he sings to dementia patients in care homes


“My late mother Lucy was diagnosed with dementia in the 1980s.” He told BBC presenter Jeremy Vine, “she would often sing while doing household tasks, so when her memory began to falter, I started singing to her.

It does go back about 50 or 60 years which is important for classes like this to help with your memory and the rhythm of singing. I discovered this when my mother had dementia, and the result was I became enamoured by this place here[Shirevale Resource Centre facility].”

“when Parliament is not in session or when I’ve been kicked out. If there is something, a little bit, that we can do to enhance their lives… I know that they had a happier time as a result of all of the singing and the use of brain co-ordination with their feet and hands and all the rest of it. I know that those two and a half hours helped those people, those 20 odd people in that room.”

“I never had any [singing] training. I often think now I’m a lot older, what would have happened if I was born in the middle of the city, where there was a drama class. Would it have been different?”

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