Care home residents join football's tune army

Music-loving care home residents joined the tune army when they belted out an array of iconic football anthems.

Music-loving care home residents joined the tune army when they belted out an array of iconic football anthems.

The residents of Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham were all smiles as they sang the soccer chants in perfect harmony, despite all supporting different teams.

Among the most popular were the famous Premier League anthems, including Liverpool's stirring You'll Never Walk Alone.

Residents Tony Ithell and George Allman who support Everton, were delighted to join in with 'Ole, Ole, Ole' for the Blues, while Sandra Swift rattled a musical shaker in tune to her Manchester United heroes' 'Red Devils'.

Closer to home Wrexham AFC's Red, Red Robin chant brought a big cheer.

The jovial exercise was one of the highlights of a session led by Denbighshire-based music therapist Ceri Rawson.

Her visit was set up as part of a partnership between Pendine Park and Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (William Mathias Music Centre) which offers high quality music training and performance experiences for people in Wales.

The two organisations have been brought together via the innovative CultureStep programme established by the charity Arts & Business Cymru which facilitates collaborations between businesses and the arts in Wales.

In this case Pendine Park signed up to sponsor the Wales International Harp Festival which takes place at Galeri Caernarfon arts centre.

In return the music body agreed to run the much enjoyed therapy sessions for residents at Pendine Park's various care homes in Wrexham.

Pendine Park Artist in Residence,Sarah Edwards said: "Ceri is a great personality who knows how to communicate and really engage with our residents through music.

"It is lovely to see them responding so well to her always tuneful and often humorous sessions."

Ceri said: "I've long heard how supportive Pendine is of the arts and music so it's lovely to be here and meet all the residents and staff. There is a lot of enthusiasm in the air.

"One of the most important parts of my job is not to entertain by simply singing to my audience, but to encourage them to join in. I always ask people taking part what they want to sing, and talk about some of the memories those songs evoke.

"We'll do songs from all genres and different eras, happy songs, sad songs, spirited foot-tapping numbers. As a Welsh speaker I'll also do some traditional Welsh classics for Welsh language speakers in the group."

Ceri added: "One thing I've noticed over the years is that football anthems invariably bring a joyful response.

"It doesn't matter which team you support, most people recognise the songs, especially from the mighty reds and blues like Liverpool, Manchester United, Everton and Manchester City. They always bring some beaming smiles and I try to include everyone's team where I can."

Sarah Edwards added: "Here at Pendine we provide a wide range of interactive therapies and activities designed to enrich the lives of our residents.

"Arts and music are integral to our recreational programmes so we are all delighted that via the CultureStep initiative we have been able to extend our partnership with Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias and increase the number of residents' music therapy sessions."

Pendine Park was, she said, happy to be a headline sponsor of the 2023 International Harp Festival, providing funds through its Pendine Arts and Community Trust (PACT).

PACT was established by Pendine Park owners Mario and Gill Kreft to support cultural and community initiatives.

The collaboration between Pendine Park and Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias is one of 21 partnerships invested in by the CultureStep programme to date this financial year.

Gwenno Angharad, the North Wales Partnerships Director at Arts & Business Cymru, said: "A&B Cymru is delighted to support the far-reaching partnership between Pendine Park Care Organisation and Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias through its CultureStep Investment Programme.

"The scheme strengthens and extends creative collaborations across Wales and it is particularly rewarding to be enabling music therapy sessions for the residents at Pendine Park's Wrexham care homes. Congratulations to both partners for establishing such a meaningful and impactful project."