Harrogate care home stars in ambitious Christmas singalong to tackle loneliness

Emmaus House care home in Harrogate is set to star in ‘The Big Christmas Care Singalong’, an hour-long online concert celebrating all those who live and work in social care settings.

By Lucy Chappell
Monday, 20th December 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 10:56 am

The video will be broadcast in care homes, hospitals, hospices, and people’s own homes today (December 20) in an effort to tackle loneliness among vulnerable people which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video, which is returning for a second year, has been spearheaded by Big Ian Donaghy, a well-known and outspoken advocate for the social care sector who has published numerous books on kindness and dementia.

Ian has been developing the video in partnership with everyLIFE Technologies, provider of PASS, a care management platform for all care settings.

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Ian Donaghy, the host of the Big Christmas Care Singalong, which stars Harrogate care home Emmaus House

The partnership with everyLIFE Technologies began last year when the inaugural Christmas Singalong faced huge challenges and was almost called off.

However, the support of the organisation meant the video came together in time for Christmas, and continues again this year.

Speaking of the Big Christmas Care Singalong, Ian Donaghy said: “We were determined to recreate the magic of last year’s online concert after seeing the beautiful response it generated.

"The video was more than an online concert; it was an opportunity for people across the entire sector to come together and share their personal memories and love of Christmas.

“I’m incredibly excited for the release of this year’s video, which promises to once again galvanise all those who live and work in social care.

"Expect the unexpected.

"You will laugh, and you may cry, as people share their stories.”

Last year’s event was watched by thousands of people who live and work in the social care sector, with viewers coming from the UK and further afield in Australia, New Zealand and Venezuela.

The online concert, which was described as “funny, heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure”, was created in response to the isolation experienced by many vulnerable people during the festive period.

With COVID-19 causing significant disruption to the social care sector, the Big Christmas Care Singalong was a welcome reprieve from the challenges of the pandemic.

This year’s online Singalong is set to be bigger and bolder, with Ian and his team pushing through adversity to make a concert to remember.

Many of the performances were recorded in a purpose-made barn studio during Storm Arwen.

Recalling the recording sessions, Ian said: “It was freezing, snowing outside and we were unsure if the roof was going to hold out, but sometimes adversity brings us even closer together.”

Duncan Campbell, Director at everyLIFE Technologies, provider of PASS, the care management platform, said: “The Big Christmas Care Singalong is quickly becoming a Christmas staple for the social care sector.

"Its unique ability to bring people together, particularly in the wake of COVID-19, is a quality everyLIFE Technologies admires and fully supports.

"We’re proud to have partnered with Big Ian to create this year’s concert and look forward to seeing its positive impact across all care settings up and down the country.”

The free-to-watch concert will feature the Harrogate care home’s residents and team members performing their favourite Christmas songs and wishing festive cheer to all, across the country.

Viewers will also hear a brass performance of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’, arranged and performed by one of the UK’s most recorded musicians, Johnny Thirkell.

Johnny has previously toured and recorded with the likes of Kylie Minogue, George Michael and Bruno Mars.

The video will be available to watch on-demand at www.thebigchristmascaresingalong.com from Monday, December 20.