It felt like a long, long Summer as we were unable to continue with our usual musical sessions in residential homes that mean so much to us. We really missed meeting and making music with our participants in the same way that someone would miss their family. Thankfully, the virus hasn’t touched the residential homes where we run our music sessions and recently we’ve been able to get back to seeing some very happy familiar faces.
At the start of lockdown we experimented with online contact through Zoom conversations. The timing delay meant that singing was virtually impossible. This was added to the fact that the homes and participants were not adequately set up for internet use.
The lack of face to face contact due to the restrictions wasn’t easy for any of us. However, thanks to the good relationships that PMZ has with activity coordinators at the residential homes, we have recently been able to work within the laws and social distancing guidelines to restart the music sessions.
On sunny days we have taken whole sessions to the park or set up in the home gardens. As autumn brings wet days we are still finding ways forward. At Astor Court we have found a sheltered spot where music can be delivered through a doorway to our distanced participants, in small groups of six at a time. Flexible hours means that if it is rainy one day then we can reschedule for another day in the week.
Here are some of the lovely comments we have received during the recent sessions. Most residents state how they have missed the sessions, but one theme also seems to be prominent: this is a time when our work is the most important and needed most. We at PMZ will endeavour to keep the sessions going in whatever way that we can!
“It’s great to sing all these songs again. I’ve really missed this and really missed being able to get together with people.” ~ B. resident of Astor Court
“Out of all of our activities, this is the one I’ve missed the most.” ~ S. resident of Astor Court
“This is really frustrating. This is the time that our residents have needed you (PMZ) the most. The restrictions and the weather make it really difficult.” ~ H. activities co-ordinator at St Barnabas
“Our session in the park was great fun. Exactly what we needed to lift our spirits.” ~ M. resident of Astor Court
“It doesn’t seem right without our weekly sing, it’s always the highlight of our week.” ~ D. resident of St Barnabas
“It’s been great to have Simon in the building especially during this lockdown when we’ve needed it most.” – S. resident of Astor Court
“We appreciate everything that happens on these days. We love the music and we love you.” ~ P. resident of Astor Court