Local Hero - Jeni Melia
Our Local Hero for February is the very deserving and equally as lovely Jeni Melia; musician, music therapist and director of the fantastic Music 4 Memory in Bedford, nominated by Sarah Russell. Established in 2008, Music 4 Memory is a twice-weekly group which brings together people with dementia and their carers, aiming to offer them an opportunity to sing, dance and laugh together in a supported, welcoming and stimulating environment.
Jeni is an experienced musician, teacher and qualified music therapist whose dedication to Music 4 Memory has ensured that each week, up to 60 people with dementia and their carers are united, inspired participants in something meaningful, and thoroughly enjoyable. As one member of the group says 'Music 4 Memory reminds me of who I am and what I can do.'
We are especially pleased that Jeni is our local hero this month, as Kiosk co-owner Nansi Rose takes her own mum along to Music 4 Mermory, and has seen first hand how much the participants all benefit from Jeni's enthusiasm, encouragement and kindness. 'My Mum even sings solos, her most recent performance being of a folk song in Welsh - Jeni makes even the impossible happen and there wasn't a dry eye in the house!'.
We hope that Jeni and her friends are hungry when they come down to the Kiosk for her Local Hero reward – cake stands laden with home-baked cakes, scones and other goodies. Congratulations Jeni!