Melody for the Mind Volunteer

Role description for Melody for the Mind volunteers.

The purpose of the 'Melody of the Mind' Volunteer role is to plan, set up and lead a regular group Melody for the Mind session at your local library. These sessions are friendly and fun, bringing people with dementia and their carers together at their local library. The session involves singing or listening to a variety of well-known songs or rhymes. Sessions have been shown to be beneficial for the wellbeing of people with dementia and other conditions.

The role requires:

  • the ability to lead a group of people in singing¬†
  • an understanding of the needs of people with dementia
  • good communication and interpersonal skills
  • adaptability to the different abilities of people attending the sessions
  • knowledge of suitable songs
  • organisational and administrative skills.

The ideal volunteer will:

  • enjoy communicating and spending time with people, particularly people with dementia and other conditions
  • demonstrate patience, empathy and understanding
  • listen to customer needs and adapt to them
  • enjoy singing and music
  • be able to select appropriate songs
  • understand the benefits of singing for people with dementia
  • have a commitment to the equality and diversity of the local community
  • be aged 18 or above.

Your duties will be to:

  • plan regular Melody for the Mind sessions and select suitable songs and rhymes for the group
  • lead singing for the group and their carers using a range of library resources and percussion instruments
  • set up and clear away each session
  • adapt sessions according to the needs of the group
  • include time for socialising and conversation during sessions
  • report and concerns or issues to library staff
  • coordinate with other volunteers and library staff.

Time required

Regularity of sessions varies between libraries. This could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly and depends on demand at different libraries.

Guidance and support

Most sessions will run with staff support and library staff will be available to deal with queries. All library volunteers are given a local contact who can provide additional support and information. A core collection of songs and resources will be available and library staff will provide additional support. Carers remain in the library during sessions and are encourage to participate.

Training and equipment

Melody for the Mind volunteers receive induction training and training specific to the role. Additional training such as Dementia Friends information sessions will be available.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

This role does not require a DBS check.


One reference will be required before you are accepted for the role. This must be someone who has known you in a personal, work or voluntary capacity for at least three years.

Other information

All volunteers must sign a volunteer agreement. You may be required to carry out a practical exercise relevant to the role before starting.

Volunteers are required to wear a lanyard and volunteer photo ID badge while in the library. You must also sign the attendance sheet on arrival and departure.

All volunteers are encouraged to become a member of West Sussex Library Service and subscribe to the Volunteer eNewsletter. This will help you to keep up to date with your role and the latest library news.

Last updated:
27 October 2023
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