It was a very worthwhile experience playing the 12 bells at the home today but quite challenging at times!
When we arrived at 1.15 pm the staff weren’t really ready for us, as the residents were still eating lunch in the dining room where we were meant to be setting up for our handbell performance.
When we had unpacked our bells and equipment the nursing home carer in charge asked us if we would go upstairs and play to a few of the residents who were confined to their beds. There was an option of a lift as well as the stairs to those of us who were carrying music stands or handbells etc.
One of our team members got her mobility stool stuck in the closing door of the lift as she was trying to pull it out, on reaching the next floor up, luckily she managed to manoeuvre it out just in time before the lift moved on up! She remarked afterwards that her newly adjusted contraption needed a rethink!
We played handbell tunes to some severely disabled residents, lying in their beds, who needed a great deal of care from the staff working in the home. They were very grateful for our visit and all our efforts, which hopefully lifted the spirits of these poor souls.
We were eventually taken to the main room, where we set up in order to play to a group of residents, who seemed to really enjoy our music, they sang along to some of the tunes they recognised. They loved the last night of the proms music!
It was one lady’s birthday yesterday, so we played Happy Birthday to her and then we all gave her a clap, she was smiling at us!
After we had packed up all our equipment we went into one of the lounges to sit and have a drink of cordial and discussed our experience.
It was an interesting afternoon though and the staff were very welcoming! We also felt pleased that we had made the effort to entertain the residents for a few hours to brighten up their day.
Jean Reilly 15.3.23