Vodafone UK's recent care home singalong led by national treasure Katherine Jenkins OBE was viewed around the world. But how did it go down with care home residents and their carers?
More than 85,000 viewers tuned in to Facebook to watch Katherine Jenkins OBE sing some of the nation’s favourite songs to 100-plus care homes across the UK last week.
The one-hour live-streamed performance featured songs such as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and ‘We’ll Meet Again’, made famous by the late Dame Vera Lynn.
Some viewers came from as far afield as Maryland, US, and Brisbane, Australia.
The event was widely covered by the British media, with more than 100 outlets reporting on the live performance, including ITV News.
“Singing is so good for the soul, it cheers us up. I always think that it’s really good for mental well-being,” Katherine said to event host Angellica Bell.
“I hope it’s going to cheer us all up and that everybody’s going to be singing along at home.”
When we sing together in this way, we find well-being is greatly improved for residents and staff alike – it is powerful medicine for the soul
(Kristy Smith, Care Manager)
Vivienne Evans, 90, a resident at St Mary’s Residential Care Home in Ipswich and former professional singer, said: “I very much like Katherine Jenkins and was very proud to sing with her. I love to sing.”
And Sheila Warfield, a care home resident at CHD Living Brownscombe was thrilled to see Katherine live: “We had a wonderful afternoon singing with Katherine. She has such a beautiful voice, so to have her sing directly for us was such a special treat and something I’ll never forget.”
Kristy Smith, Care Manager at Anchor Hanover’s St Marys Holbrook thanked Katherine “for taking the time to help lift everyone’s spirits during these challenging times.”
“We love a sing-along, and we were overjoyed to share this with the wider community. It might seem like a small thing, but when we sing together in this way, we find well-being is greatly improved for residents and staff alike – it is powerful medicine for the soul.”
After the performance, Katherine told Vodafone UK News “Getting to sing for all the care home workers and residents has been a really lovely way to spend an afternoon. We’re all going through this crisis and I honestly believe that music can bring us all together.
“I really enjoyed seeing everyone joining in and singing along.”
The mezzo-soprano acknowledged the importance of technology in bringing people together and keeping them connected.
“If you are in the older generation it’s important to feel you can stay in touch with friends and family. Seeing them on video calls make such a difference as well.
“It’s important to educate the older generation, and even people like me, to learn more. A really worthwhile lesson we’ve learnt is how we can keep in touch and stay connected in different and better ways.”