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College Concert Brightens Care Home Christmas

The week before Christmas, music students from St Vincent College in Gosport gathered to share both their musical talents and the spirit of Christmas by providing entertainment for residents of Tudor Lodge Nursing Home in Fareham.

With guitars, drums, a piano and singers, over 20 students gathered at Gosport’s further education college where they study Level 3 Music, in order to play a collection of assessed pieces and classic Christmas songs for the residents of a care home in Fareham.

The idea came about during a discussion between Janette Broxton, who works at Tudor Lodge Nursing Home as Activities Coordinator, and her daughter, Kirsty Bailey, a Learning Support Assistant at St Vincent College, back in November.

‘Mum was looking for activities for the residents in her care, and finding it increasingly difficult with the restrictions introduced as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic,’ explained Kirsty. ‘I said I would go and speak to Chris Harris who teaches music at St Vincent College, who in turn spoke to the students and they were really keen to do it.’

To comply with the safety requirements, the students used online streaming platforms Zoom and Facebook Live to provide their entertainment in real time to the audience at Tudor Lodge. Kirsty’s husband, Luke, took all the necessary COVID-secure precautions to carefully set up and monitor equipment inside the care home, purchased by care home owner, Mark Palmer.

‘Lockdown has been very hard for residents who are used to seeing visitors, having live entertainment and taking part in interactive activities,’ says Jannette. ‘They can easily feel alone and isolated, and we were touched by how the students instantly understood and responded, giving their time and talents to help provide those moments of escapism.’

The students were used to performing remotely, having done so for friends and family as part of their assessment, so their experience made for a great show and the resident reviews said the music was ‘magic’ and ‘brought back a lot of memories’.

‘‘It was good to see the students enjoying themselves and doing something that can give them a future,’ said one resident, Ken. ‘It gave us a lot of pleasure and I wish them all a Merry Christmas’.

Level 3 Music Students at St Vincent College in Gosport, providing a Christmas Concert remotely to the residents of Tudor Lodge Nursing Home in Fareham.

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