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December 16, 2020

Kissing it better – singalong with MHA

As we all know, life for older people in care homes and retirement communities hasn’t been easy this year. However, there have been lots of ideas and activities to help people feel less isolated and have something to look forward to. MHA decided that singing might help, so they’ve been creating musical experiences to help communities in Leeds and Harrogate.

MHA partnered with Warwickshire-based charity Kissing it Better to engage three professional singers to bring a range of music to their residents. The project is funded by the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Tapping our feet to rock and roll, or joining in with a long-forgotten song on the radio, is something we can all relate to. The singers, Rebekka Jones, Tessa Smith and Martyn Roper, have brought music to entertain, with vintage tunes from the ‘30s and ‘40s, songs from the musicals, The Beatles, Queen, Abba and lots more in between!

This wide breadth of music has enabled the performers to engage with older people of all ages, bringing much needed relief and distraction from the frustrations and restrictions of Covid and lockdown. And, of course, reviving memories and giving people the chance to sing and dance along too.

Sue Oliver, scheme manager of MHA Communities Harrogate, said:

“This has been warmly welcomed by staff and residents alike, and return visits have been awaited impatiently. Martyn in particular has been a great hit with the ladies!”

Kissing it Better has coordinated the performances and created a heart-warming 30 minute Summer Singalong film, for all to join in.

As you’ll see in the video, the Summer Singalong followed social distancing guidelines in the garden, and all safety rules have been followed throughout the project. Martyn, Rebekka and Tessa are still singing into December, wrapped up outside as their audiences stay warm and dry indoors!

Why not take a look at the film when you need a boost and have a sing along?

Gillian Schofield
Time to Shine monitoring and evaluation assistant