Young people who have lived in care bring Christmas joy to nursing homes

December 14, 2020
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‘Proud2Carol’ is a project that has been developed by local group Proud2Care – a group with a range of care experience from across Inverclyde.

The group, supported by the health and social care partnership and community care forum Your Voice, allows the youngsters to share experiences, make friends, learn skills and make suggestions to improve the local care system and support youngsters.

They teamed up with Suzie O’Donoghue of Songbird Singing to record a virtual Christmas concert to entertain residents in local nursing homes over the coming weeks.

They have been meeting for rehearsals via Zoom and visited the Songbird studio at Greenock’s Duff Street to record their Christmas tunes.

Suzie, 31, told the Tele: “The whole project was one of the most beautiful, humbling experiences I’ve ever had.

“It was so nice to record and meet all the people I’ve been seeing virtually each week for 10 weeks, it felt like a big family.

“We had so much support from everyone and I’m really looking forward to keeping these ties up and working together in the future.”

As well having Suzie on hand to help, the youngsters were joined by parents, former Greenock police chief inspector, Debbie Riley, Inverclyde Council’s chief social worker and local councillor, Lynne Quinn.

Also on hand to offer her musical talents was the council’s director of education and communities, Ruth Binks, who agreed to play the flute to accompany the choir, and Aileen Wilson, children’s rights officer for Inverclyde, who oversaw the whole project.

Each care home will now receive a package including biscuits, tea bags and a Christmas card with a link to the musical video, so the residents can enjoy their own Christmas concert.

Councillor Robert Moran, convener of health and social care, said: “Proud2Care is a fantastic initiative supporting our care experienced young people and giving them direct input into shaping the future of care services in Inverclyde.

“Proud2Carol is one of the many brilliant projects the group has been working on and will spread some much-needed festive cheers among older people in care homes this Christmas.

“It’s heart-warming to see age groups at either end of the care system uniting in this way at this time of year.”

Gourock councillor Lynne Quinn added: “‘I was delighted to be involved in the Proud2Carol project.

“It was great to see the confidence of the group growing under Suzie’s excellent tuition.

“The residents of our adult care homes are in for a treat when they received their copy of our songs.”

The group have also recently launched their very own podcast called ‘Care2Listen’, which is available on Spotify.

This podcast is a place for them to share stories and promote local information and group members have been involved in the whole development of the podcast from choosing content, writing the questions, designing the jingle and the artwork and helping to edit and promote the finished product.

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