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‘Dementia hero’ honoured with top accolade at national awards ceremony

Music for Dementia

Paul Harvey, the pianist and former music teacher whose performance on BBC Breakfast went viral last year, has been awarded an Outstanding Achievement accolade at the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Hero Awards.

The award recognises individuals that have improved the lives of people affected by dementia during the pandemic.

Harvey, 80, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2019, and was presented with the award for his song, ‘Four Notes’ which received significant media attention in 2020 and was later recreated by The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. 

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The song also entered the UK Top 40 music charts with all the proceeds from single sales going to the Alzheimer’s Society and Music for Dementia.

Composed using four random notes selected by Harvey’s son Nick, it received more than 83,000 engagements and was viewed more than 2.1 million times on Twitter.

Businessman, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Sir Tom Hunter, was so moved by the improvisation that he made a donation of £1 million, half of which went to Music for Dementia.

Gavin Bashar, UK Managing Director at Tunstall Healthcare, which sponsored the Hero Awards, said: “We are incredibly proud to be sponsoring such inspiring awards. Paul and all the other very worthy winners at the Dementia Hero Awards have shown huge commitment, fortitude and strength during an incredibly difficult time.

“The pandemic and subsequent national restrictions have presented huge challenges to many people, but particularly so for those living with dementia and the people who care for them.”

The virtual Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Hero Awards were hosted by TV presenter Richard Madeley and took place during Dementia Action Week, which ran from May 17 to May 23.

Harvey was honoured alongside nine other Dementia Hero Award winners in categories that recognised innovation, fundraising, researching, campaigning, business, care and compassion, the media and professional excellence.

Caption: Paul Harvey (left) with his son Nick.

Tags : Alzheimer's Societydementiamusic for dementiaPaul Harvey
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke