I am sure you will agree 2020- 2021 will be a time that most of us will not forget as restrictions to our lives due to the Covid pandemic affected us in a way which we were not used to. Many people suffered mentally as we were isolated and confined to our homes.

Thanks to the £10,000 National Lottery- Awards for All grant we received, Blackpool Music School was able to make those who were restricted in care homes continue to feel connected to the outside world by providing the equipment, set up and Zoom based entertainment shows. In addition to this we were also able to continue with many music lessons via Zoom for our members that would usually attend the school. This helped to provide some normality especially for those who have no family living with them.

One such example was The Willows Care Home, Blackpool. We received a review from them and soon will be doing a live show for them at their care home.

“On behalf of our residents, their families and staff at The Willows Care Home, Blackpool, I would like to acknowledge our sincere appreciation to the Blackpool Music Academy for 8 months of superb weekly live entertainment brought to us via zoom.

When John, Academy Chairman, first approached us with the concept, we were in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic. We had not had live entertainment at The Willows for some time. It didn’t take much convincing to sign up to the project. John arranged for his IT specialist to come to The Willows and set up our equipment so that we could connect to Zoom and he provided cables and a camera. Later John even loaned us a laptop as well.

From our weekly conversations with John, whose commitment and professionalism shone through his outgoing personality, to the cruise ship quality performances from all the entertainers, we all embraced and thoroughly enjoyed the varied entertainment program.

Our residents and staff would gather each week in the Day Room, residents had their favourite alcoholic beverage and space made for dancing, we even had percussion instruments to join in with the performances.

We especially loved the interaction with John and his entertainers during their performances, we really felt as though they were in the room with us.

We could also see other care homes enjoying themselves to and we really did feel part of a community event.

We, at The Willows Care Home, would like to say THANK YOU, to John and everyone at The Blackpool Music Academy for providing first class entertainment.

We have kept in touch and John and The Academy are providing a two-hour live entertainment music festival type show for our first garden party since before the lockdown in 2020. Our residents, their families and our staff can’t wait to welcome them into our home and say THANK YOU in person.”

Julie Critchmoor, Activities and Wellbeing Co-ordinator,

The Willows Care Home, Blackpool. June 2022