Play it Again SAV!

A lot of [the veterans] are musicians themselves, either being involved in pipe bands, spoon playing or cèilidhs and there’s a lot of familiar music that people recognise and enjoy.

Play it Again SAV! brings Joy Through Live Music to older veterans and their families in care and community settings across Scotland. The three year project is part of Unforgotten Forces, a consortium of 17 organisations aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of Scotland’s older veterans.

Sessions are tailored to suit groups needs and can range from regular jamming sessions and sing alongs in the community, through to soothing and relaxing sessions for veterans in hospital and other care settings.

“The addition of the music during the event, took it to a different level.  What I did see as a result of the music, was a change in atmosphere, far more positive, clapping, singing along, increased conversation, and general interaction.”
– Steve Henderson, Age Scotland’s Veterans’ Project Community Development Officer North

The Vetrobates 

The Lothian Veterans Centre in Dalkeith hosts popular monthly Play it Again SAV! sessions, in which veterans and family members sing and play along with MiHC musician Charlie Gorman. Over time they have developed a great repertoire ranging from traditional songs to Elvis Presley and beyond.

This sparked the idea of forming a band, The Vetrobates, providing a wonderful opportunity to make music together and share it with the community. Every band needs an audience, so The Vetrobates approached the Erskine Edinburgh Home to see if residents would welcome a concert.

On Friday 15th November 2019 The Vetrobates entertained residents, visitors and staff. They were in great voice and there was real emotional power in seeing veterans entertaining veterans. Tea, cakes and chat followed and a great day was had by all involved.

Songwriting pilot project

Building on Play it Again SAV!’s success, a songwriting project was piloted in late 2019 with veterans at Scottish War Blinded Linburn and Hawkhead Centres, Erskine Reid Macewen Activity Centre and Royal British Legion Scotland Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Stevenston branch. The project provided not only a new way to capture stories, but opportunities to be creative and the satisfaction of contributing to a new piece of music.

The result was four songs co-written by MiHC musician Jason Sweeney and veterans from the centres. Below is a video about the pilot and you can listen to the songs here.

Make a donation

Please give today to help improve the health and wellbeing of children and adults through the healing power of live music.