The iPod Pharmacy will turn your old music player into portable therapy

If your long since forgotten MP3 player is languishing in a drawer then dig it out and hand it in – it could be used to help somebody in need

In one of his early hit stage shows, immortalised for our repeated delectation thanks to YouTube, the comedian Michael McIntyre describes the existence of what he dubs the ‘man drawer’. This is a zone where all manner of items – often useless, but deemed too valuable to throw away – are stored.

The list includes leads from unknown appliances, ancient mobile phones, batteries of indeterminate life, foreign currency (if a man calls wanting to be paid in drachma, McIntyre is ready), radiator keys and takeaway menus. In the sketch, the drawer is curated by males – but actually, most homes tend to have a similar dumping area. However, now is the time for a clear out, because there’s a creative use for one of the items that is likely to be found in said drawer.

Music is used not only to help distract from treatment and procedures but is also widely recognised as helping with neurological conditions such as dementia

Chiltern Music Therapy has launched an iPod Pharmacy, where people are invited to donate their old players, which are then reconditioned and loaded with personalised playlists for music therapists to loan out to their patients. The iPod, once shiny and cutting edge, has since been replaced by inbuilt listening/speaker facilities on phones, as anyone who has taken public transport recently can testify.

Chiltern Music Therapy’s scheme is an excellent way to support charitable giving, plus any means of repurposing items has environmental benefits too. The scheme is supported by Jazz FM and Yamaha, which have pledged to give recipients a pair of headphones for every iPod or MP3 player donated. Music is used not only to help distract from treatment and procedures but is also widely recognised as helping with cognition, communication and connection in patients with neurological conditions such as dementia.

You can find your nearest place to donate at chilternmusictherapy.co.uk/ipodpharmacy

Go on, check that drawer…