The music of country legends Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers is helping people with dementia hit the high notes thanks to cash seized from criminals.

The Forget-Me-Not Chorus’s 2022 programme of Country and Western-inspired hits and line dancing has been secured with a £2,500 grant from the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s Your Community, Your Choice Fund.

The initiative, also supported by the North Wales Police Community Trust (PACT) and North Wales Police, is in its ninth year.

More than £400,000 has been handed out to deserving causes in that time and much of it has been recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act, using cash seized from offenders with the rest coming from Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin.

The choir launched in Abergele last year, 10 years after the first Forget-Me-Not chorus in Cardiff, and is now part of one of Wales’ leading dementia charities, organising weekly singing sessions for people with dementia, their supporters and carers.

They meet weekly at St Paul’s Methodist Church in Abergele and North Wales Project Manager Toby Fagan said the cash will help them run weekly sessions in an accessible venue at the heart of the local community.

He said: “We address the isolation that dementia can bring. By creating singing communities where joy and laughter are the norm, we offer an escape from the relentless caring routine.

“Our work re-connects communities, nourishes relationships and demonstrates the transformational power of song.”

The Forget-Me-Not Chorus makes use of innovative projects, performances and exhibitions to promote inclusion and Toby added: “The skill set to empower, enable and inspire our choristers is very specific and we are passionately committed to ensuring that our team delivers a model of quality and excellence.

“We have developed and delivered a bespoke training and mentoring programme for all choir leaders and are delighted that our Conwy music leader, Rebeca Kirkby is a masters graduate of Bangor University and local to Abergele. Our accompanist, Jenny Jones is also local to the Abergele area.

“This term’s repertoire is Country & Western themed ‘Love Lifted Me’ and will include classic songs by Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and others as well as line dancing.

“We currently welcome 12 people to the session, including two local volunteers, with choristers aged from their 50s to their 80s.”

The community sessions take place every Thursday from 6:30pm until 8pm atSt Paul’s Methodist Church and over 50 people have been signposted to our service with 32 singers at a taster session in Rhuddlan.

He said: “The funding will help us build our Forget-Me-Not Chorus community here in Conwy and bring the joy of singing together to families living with and alongside dementia.

“It’s a relaxed, fun way to meet other people who know what it’s like to live with dementia. Membership is free and no referral is needed.”

Andy Dunbobbin added: “I am delighted that my Your Community Your Choice fund continues to support community projects across North Wales.

“This unique fund is demonstration of people power in action because it allows our communities to decide which projects should get financial support through our on-line voting system.

“There is an element of poetic justice in using money obtained through crime to address the problem of crime in our communities.

“It’s turning bad money into good and it’s making a real difference because it is local people who recognise and understand their local issues and how to solve them.

“This is a really positive aspect of the scheme and it helps bring us closer to those communities.”

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Allsop said: “I get particular satisfaction that part of the funding comes from the proceeds of crime, so that money is taken out of the pockets of criminals and their ill-gotten gains by the courts and is put back into community initiatives.

“It’s turning bad money into good and it’s making a real difference because it is local people who recognise and understand their local issues and how to solve them.

“Policing is part of the community and the community is part of policing and this scheme is a positive way of building trust in policing.

“It’s great to see those relationships flourish because without the community we won’t know what’s going on, without the community we won’t get vital intelligence, and we won’t solve crimes.”

PACT chair Ashley Rogers said: “These awards are important because they support community projects right across North Wales and it’s the communities themselves that decide where the money can best be spent.

“A lot of what we fund is aimed at providing something for young people to get involved with in their spare time, activities that can help to build skills and positive physical and mental health”

“We want to support communities so they are able to take responsibility for their own areas.

“Community groups and projects can do a great deal to make communities safer, reduce crime and reduce re-offending, it also sends a good message to the communities because it shows we are listening to them.

“The aim is to build up resilience in communities across North Wales to help vulnerable people and combat things like County Lines.”

For more information on the work of the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner go to and for more on the North Wales Police and Community Trust go to