- Katherine Jenkins OBE, braves the rain to perform a live streamed sing-along for care home residents, their families and carers.
- Sing-along viewed by hundreds of care homes across the country and watched by thousands more people at home via Facebook Live.
- New Vodafone ‘Tech Team’ support service designed with older people in mind launches today, with ‘How To’ video guides and simple ‘cut-out-and-keep’ instructions answering common queries such as how to video call, download an app or spot phishing emails.
- Vodafone’s #KeepConnecting sing-along and Tech Team are part of the telecoms company’s commitment to help the UK’s older community keep connecting
Vodafone has teamed up with multi-award winning, mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE to put on a one-off, live sing-along for care home residents, their families and staff. The event, hosted virtually by TV presenter Angellica Bell, was broadcast from Katherine’s garden, and live streamed into hundreds of care homes across the UK and watched on Facebook Live by thousands at home.
Abiding by the current social distancing regulations in UK care homes, the performance was enjoyed by residents and staff from Anchor Hanover and CHD Living care homes who viewed together in communal areas of care homes or in their rooms if isolating, whilst families, other homes and people at home joined via Facebook.
Katherine, braved the rain as she led the concert with live performances of classic hits such as A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, We’ll Meet Again, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Here’s To The Heroes and an acapella version of You Are My Sunshine, a special birthday request from a resident, Audrey Grogan, at Anchor’s Blackbrook House in Colchester, who celebrates her 109th birthday this month.
Residents also took the opportunity to sing happy birthday to Katherine who celebrated her 40th birthday earlier this week.
Kristy Smith, Care manager at Anchor Hanover’s St Marys care home in Holbrook said: “Thank you to 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.
“We loved singing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ with Katherine as this was our favourite song during our VE day celebrations in May and represented so much of how we have felt during lockdown. 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.”
Vivienne Evans, 90, a St Mary’s resident and trained soprano who sang professionally in her youth, said: “I very much like Katherine Jenkins and was very proud to sing with her. I love to sing.”
Katherine Jenkins OBE said: “Singing is so good for the soul so I’m delighted to have given this concert this afternoon for people in care homes across the UK. I love the idea and it’s such a joyful thing to be involved in so I hope everyone enjoyed it.”
Sheila Warfield 83, a resident at CHD Living Brownscombe care home in Haslemere, Surrey, said: “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.”
Shaleeza Hasham, Head of Hospitality and Communications at CHD Living, said: “We were delighted to be involved in Vodafone’s care home sing-along and to see the joy that it brought to our residents to not only hear Katherine sing for them, but also to be able to sing along with her to classic songs such as ‘You Are My Sunshine’.
“Technology has proven incredibly valuable in keeping residents and the outside world connected, especially during recent months, and we are thrilled to be involved in such an activity that celebrates this.”
Tech Team services
As part of a broader programme of activity focused on supporting older people in the UK, Vodafone launches its new Tech Team services today with new features designed to help older generations stay connected.
New services include: ‘How To’ YouTube videos, simple cut-out-and-keep guides, and an in-home support service for customers who aren’t able to come in store (coming soon). In addition a dedicated online webchat service featuring a personal, one-way video chat function for customers, so they can see and speak to a Tech Team member is also now available via the Vodafone website.
Vodafone customers who want face-to-face advice on their account or devices can also speak to the Tech Team in our stores.
The easy to follow guides include an introduction to social media, how to video call, how to use WhatsApp, how to use voice recognition, and how to download apps, create contacts, make a call and receive a text.
Additionally, with 42,575 phishing emails being reported to HM Revenue & Customs in June (as reported in the FT), a huge increase of 74% since January, Vodafone’s tech experts will offer extra guidance on how to spot scams and phishing emails.
Guides will be available for printing at www.vodafone.co.uk/techteam.
Video guides can be viewed at https://vodafone.uk/HowToVideos.
Helen Lamprell, General Counsel and External Affairs Director, Vodafone UK, said: “As lockdown restrictions ease, we are acutely aware that there are groups in society – in particular older people – who are either still unable to venture out, or aren’t comfortable doing so.
“We want to help lift their spirits, while also providing some practical support to help them stay in touch with family and friends through technology with our simple how-to guides and videos.”
As part of its commitment to helping older people stay connected, Vodafone has also recently announced it will be providing employees with the opportunity to volunteer to Age UK’s Telephone Friendship Service. The service matches volunteers with older people with similar interests to make weekly 20-minute friendship calls.
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Notes to editors
About Katherine Jenkins
Cherished as one of Britain’s all-time favourite singers, Katherine – the biggest selling classical artist of the century – made chart history when her last album ‘Guiding Light’, became her 13th UK Classical No.1 album, further cementing Katherine’s position as the world’s most prolific artist in UK Classical chart history. Katherine’s set to release her 14th studio album, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ – available from 3 July via Decca Records.
Over the past couple of months, while home schooling her children, Katherine has brought some much needed light to a global audience, performing every Saturday night live online. The successful at home concerts have amassed over three million streams and raised over £5,000, for the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, and will continue for the duration of the lockdown.
Katherine also recently joined forces with the late Dame Vera Lynn to release a duet of ‘We’ll Meet Again’, which went on to top the iTunes chart when released. 100% of Katherine Jenkins and Decca Records’ proceeds from the single were donated to NHS Charities Together to support the incredible NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients.
On 8th May, Katherine led tributes to commemorate VE Day 75, and made history by becoming the first person to perform to an empty Royal Albert Hall. The half-hour concert was streamed to audiences around the world via YouTube. The concert to date has raised over £30,000 for SSAFA and £25,000 for The Royal Albert Hall. The concert brought a message of hope and togetherness, with a virtual duet of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ with Dame Vera Lynn – a message that has resonated around the nation as people are again separated from their loved ones at a time of crisis.
As one of the UK’s greatest musical exports, Katherine has performed all over the world, for the Pope, for Presidents and is a favourite of the Royal Family, having been invited to sing ‘God Save The Queen’ at Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, perform at Her Majesty’s Coronation Concerts at Buckingham Palace, and, by special request, at Her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle.
She has embarked upon numerous sold-out tours and duetted with such names as Andrea Bocelli, José Carreras, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Bryn Terfel, Rolando Villazon, and Il Divo, amongst others.
Katherine was awarded an OBE at the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for her services to music and charity and wowed audiences and critics alike with her stellar performance as Julie Jordan in Lonny Price’s semi-staged production of Carousel at the London Coliseum in 2017.
About Anchor Hanover:
Anchor Hanover is England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for people in later life, with more than 60,000 customers in 54,000 homes across almost 1,700 locations, supported by more than 10,000 colleagues. Anchor Hanover provides retirement housing to rent and to buy, retirement villages and residential care homes, including specialist dementia care, operating in more than 90% of local councils in England. For more information visit www.anchorhanover.org.uk.
About CHD Living
CHD Living is an award-winning, family-owned and operated group of care facilities, with more than 35 years’ experience of providing the best quality care to its communities. With 13 residences throughout Surrey, CHD Living also operates two specialist rehabilitation centres and a domiciliary care business, Longdene Homecare. Each home is designed with its residents in mind, ensuring the group can continue to promote choice, independence and dignity, in safe and caring environments.
For more information, please contact:
Vodafone UK Media Relations Team
Tel: 01635 693693