Music-loving care home residents have welcomed the return of one of their favourite entertainers after two years of only seeing him online due to the Pandemic.
Christchurch-based pianist and vocalist Simon Woodley performed live at Colten Care’s Brook View in West Moors for the first time since spring 2020.
The in-person show at Brook View was a particular treat for resident Freda Sherwood, 91, who used to have the same piano teacher as Simon and is a long-standing fan of his playing.
Freda was a regular at Simon’s weekly Skype sessions during Lockdown and was thrilled to see him back playing live in the residents’ lounge, even joining him at the keyboard for a brief duet.
“It was wonderful to see Simon again,” said a smiling Freda, who likes to practise classical pieces on the home’s two pianos to the delight of fellow residents and staff.
Companionship team leader Sarah Moule said: “If Freda is at a piano, she will smile and sing. It’s the same when she sees Simon play.
“When Lockdown hit, Simon was one of the first entertainers across the Colten Care group to suggest doing Skype music sessions.
“Freda always looked forward to them each week but you can’t beat having music performed right there in front of you.
“It was a joy to see her face when Simon appeared in person once again, set up his keyboard and invited her to sit with him and play a few notes.”
Freda and Simon were both students of the late Bournemouth-based pianist and teacher Terry Shade.
Simon, who performed a selection of residents’ requests including jazz standards, songs from the shows and classical pieces, said: “Skype was all we could manage during lockdown so it was lovely to return.
“I’ve been playing at Colten Care for around ten years and I am chuffed to bits to be back again.”
[piano1] – Resident Freda Sherwood, 91, joins entertainer Simon Woodley for his first performance at Colten Care’s Brook View in more than two years. On the left is Companionship Team Leader Sarah Moule.
[piano2,3 and 4] – Freda Sherwood, a resident at Colten Care’s Brook View in West Moors, Dorset, at the keyboard with visiting entertainer Simon Woodley. Simon was making his first trip to the home after two years of weekly performances via Skype. The pair used to have the same piano teacher in years gone by.
Note to journalists: Colten Care owns and operates 21 care homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex. Seven of our homes are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and we have a consistently high group score, currently 9.9 out of ten, on the public review site Carehome.co.uk. Based on such third-party advocacy, we are the UK’s highest-rated care home group for our size. All our homes are registered for nursing care and four are dedicated dementia care homes with Admiral Nurse support. Unlike people who receive domiciliary care in their own homes, our residents have the reassurance that 24/7 nurse-led care is on hand whenever they need it. They live in the highest standards of accommodation, enjoying homecooked food, companionship, fresh laundry and housekeeping services, and safe, peaceful and inspiring gardens. We also support our residents to raise thousands of pounds for charities of their choice every year. Founded more than 35 years ago, Colten Care has won multiple awards for the quality of its care and remains an independent, family-owned care home provider. For more information, visit www.ColtenCare.co.uk. Media enquiries to Scott Sinclair, Deep South Media, on 07500 796666.