Residents living with neurological conditions in Twickenham can now access Integrated Neurological Services (INS) that have been provided by the Otakar Kraus Music Trust (OKMT).

The INS service - which is also supported by the People's Postcode Lottery, has provided music therapy to people living in the borough since 1991, however its Twickenham service launched on February 3.

Each music therapy session is aimed at improving the physical and mental well-being of children and adults living with learning, physical neurological or emotional difficulties.

Clare Lawrence, Director of OKMT said, “We are very grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Postcode Community Trust for the Grant which will enable us to provide a safe therapeutic space for clients at INS, where we can use music therapy to help them explore emotional expression, engage in social interaction and adjust to their disability.”

Neurological music therapy is an evidence-based treatment which can help those with neurological conditions to have improved cognition, communication and movement.

A qualified music therapist will provide small group music therapy sessions for over 30 people with neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s and MS, many of whom have mobility, cognitive and communication issues and may suffer isolation and depression.

Each student learns breathing and signing techniques that are aimed at improving the flow of speech as some residents often sing words they cannot say.

Creating songs about every day activities can also help improve a student's cognition and memory.

Students are also encouraged work on their movement by playing an instrument or walking to a beat which strengthens any weakened muscles.