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  • Writer's pictureKate Millett

Tickets please Ladies and Gents!

Musicians: Graham Hughes (double bass & voice) and Nat Keen (guitar & voice)

Bridgeside Lodge’s new Activities Manager, Yvette, joined us on Monday the 29th March for our usual weekly meeting (post PCR Covid tests!) She was full of contagious enthusiasm and told us she was eager to join forces. Although BSL is non denominational, the Easter weekend was a good opportunity to put together a musical event (after such a horrendous year, any excuse for a bit of comfort and entertainment!) So, on Friday, Graham and Nat played two small group concerts in the communal areas of the 1st and 2nd floors.

Covid restrictions meant the lounges had to be limited to an 8 person capacity, but Yvette managed to make it exciting by sourcing impressive fake money (£10/£20 notes), handing them out to residents and giving them the agency to decide if they wanted to ‘buy’ their own tickets. For those who did want to attend, there was a special Spitz ticket, Spitz stickers and a lovely chocolate egg! The musicians took requests, keen to meet the tastes of each audience member. Sometimes this took a bit of diplomacy, as some residents objected to attention being on someone else…

“Music means a lot to me. It helps me concentrate. I used to listen to records when I did my homework and I still find it helpful today!”

- Resident V, BSL

M sang along to the whole of Elvis’ “Are You Lonesome Tonight”, R danced with carers, using his walking frame as a prop, I.J displayed her ticket proudly on her chest, and V counted the musicians in for every song. Meanwhile, Spitz Assistant Coordinator Kate carried out careful evaluations and surveys. Logging the impact of our sessions is so important as it enables us to map the long term benefits for residents. The responses and feedback we get help us to set goals and meet individuals’ needs. It’s an opportunity to learn and improve. We handed out a questionnaire to some carers who are interested in our work (to collect at a later date when they had time to fill them in) as their insights are invaluable.

Having done mainly 1:1 sessions over the past few months, we are conscious that some residents benefit more from music in the privacy and safety of their own room, so, after the concerts Graham and Nat did some bedroom visits.

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