Solihull musician with dementia performs on Christmas charity CD

Solihull trombonist Derek Harrison, 76, who has been living with Alzheimer’s disease for the last four years, is the star of a charity CD that goes on sale this week to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.

The CD will be available in return for a donation of £5 in branches of Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland across the UK. It features Christmas tunes recorded by musicians and singers from across the country who all work for Lloyds Banking Group.

The talented colleagues gathered together in Solihull earlier this year to record a number of festive favourites. The CD includes a special track recorded by the Lloyds Bank choral society, formed in 1962 and recorded in the 1970s. Recorded originally on vinyl, the track will be digitally reworked and added as a bonus track to the CD.

Derek, who has barely picked up his trombone since his diagnosis of dementia, said: “I had a wonderful day performing with the Lloyds Banking Group Orchestra. I got involved through my daughter Miriam, who also works for Lloyds. I was so proud to be able to take part in the recording which I hope will sell lots of copies up and down the country to help families just like ours.”

The sale of the Christmas CD coincides with ‘Tinsel, Tea and Talk’, a week of activities across the country aimed at encouraging colleagues and customers to open up about their experiences of dementia, over a cup of tea and a festive treat. This includes the Solihull branch of Lloyds Bank, who held their event yesterday.

The money raised will support the charity partners’ pioneering Live Well programme which is being rolled out nationally across the UK. Live Well is the charities’ first national support programme for people with dementia and their carers and, through a series of sessions aims to educate people about how to cope with day-to-day life and how to plan for the future.