Just before Christmas we visited Henwick Grange Home for the elderly and entertained the residents with our annual Christmas carol concert.
Each year Postcode Anywhere’s tuneful troubadours visit a residential home in the area in an attempt to take some Christmas goodwill and festive cheer to our highly-cherished elderly community.
We serenade them with carols and Christmas songs and it has become customary to take gifts of chocolates to the annual event. This year we set a precedent by sending a very special person to distribute them.
Jolly and rotund
Leaving his elves unsupervised for the evening at his busiest time of year was a rather jolly and, I might add, rotund Father Christmas. He very kindly gave out over 50 boxes of chocolates to every single resident at the Hallow-based home for the elderly.
Henwick Grange Nursing Home provides residential, nursing and dementia care for a wide range of elderly needs as well as for people with physical disabilities. The management prides itself on delivering the highest levels of care to its 50 residents, which includes an extensive and diverse programme of social activities.
Father Christmas (who was really our talented PR man Jim Williams, complete with a fat cushion strategically placed under his tunic) did a fabulous job. He visited every single one of the bed-ridden residents, which was quite exhausting considering he was wearing a thick red woolly, and rather itchy baby-grow. However, he never complained and discharged his duties in an exemplary fashion.
Spirit of Christmas
Multi-talented Jim also very magnanimously took the part of everyone’s favourite ancient and well-loved philanthropist King Wenceslas. Our HR manager Christine Cameron assumed the solo part of his trusty page who seemed to suffer rather more from the cold than her royal master. It was very touching. To me this carol epitomises both the true spirit of Christmas and our CSR objectives.
Other stars of the show included Jason Ford, whose fiancée Mez has the most amazing soprano voice, and her sisters, who also sang like angels.
As our managing director Guy Mucklow said: “It is very easy to forget the elderly, with all of the various charitable activities that take place around the Christmas period, when in fact they still have so much to contribute to society.
“I have personally enjoyed getting our staff together to sing carols over the past few years, not only because of the satisfaction of seeing the pleasure that it brings, but also because it helps to strengthen team spirit within our business. It probably helps that our audience is gentle on us and very appreciative of what is a small gesture on our part.
Hoping to become more involved
He is right of course – we are of course by no means an accomplished choir, but we really enjoy singing, we always have fun, and it gives us all a great deal of satisfaction to bring a little joy and Christmas spirit to our elderly community. Henwick Grange is on our doorstep and we are hoping to become more involved with the residents and staff there and we hope that the event will be just the start of a very special ‘ongoing’ relationship.
The home’s manager Dan Vickers is wonderfully enthusiastic about staging events and activities for his residents and it’s wonderful to work with such a dedicated and caring professional.
Local pianist John Brierley accompanied us this year. He gave us some sound advice and also assisted us greatly at an intensive pre-concert rehearsal. John is very eminent in musical circles, as he is, among other things, Chairman of the Board of Studies at the Elgar School of Music, where he teaches organ, theory and academic studies. He has become a great friend to Postcode Anywhere as he has also given us stalwart support in the past at our annual fund-raiser Last Choir Standing.
A special thanks
I would like to extend a big well done to everyone who took part in our carol fest. Special thanks should also go to Lisa Sherwin at Henwick Grange who gave us a fantastically warm welcome and helped to guide Father Christmas through the extensive labyrinth of corridors so he could personally deliver over 50 boxes of chocolates. Yo Ho Ho!