Julie Hill talks about taking part in BBC One's Our Dementia Choir with Vicky McClure

I was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in November 2017.  After struggling with my job as a county counsellor for some time, I had to stop working.

I was told about a choir that Vicky McClure was setting up for those living with dementia, so I emailed them telling them all about my journey with dementia.  After an initial meeting I then went along to meet the rest of the choir.  We were all living with different forms of dementia.  The feeling that I wasn't alone was very comforting.

We all had to learn songs that we didn't remember very well.  Every choir meeting was like the first time.  I loved meeting all of the others and we formed strong bonds.  Our families formed friendships and found support with each other.

The feeling of joy when I knew I was going to choir practice was great, it made me feel really good.  Singing helps me relax and de-stress.  It's been a great experience for me and really does help.

The TV programme (BBC One's Our Dementia Choir), I hope, showed that a diagnosis of dementia isn't the end of your life.  We can still enjoy living we just do it in a different way.  I'm lucky I'm still able to get about with the support of my family but not everyone has that support. 

People need to look at dementia in a different way, they need to see that it's not just an old person’s illness but can affect young people. 
 
I hope the choir showed that. 

- Julie Hill 
 

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