Tommy is one of almost 40 residents living at The Broughtons in Salford. Like all care homes, The Broughtons had an incredibly tough time throughout multiple lockdowns, and residents missed the interaction of Music in Hospitals & Care musicians such as A4 Brass Quartet, who have returned to the home after 18 months without live music in person.
The music brought back memories because I used to go to parks with my dad to watch brass bands. He used to play when he was in the army.
“When Covid hit, overnight these people’s lives were taken away,” says Debra Travis, Activities Coordinator. “All they had was a TV in their rooms with constant bad news. They didn’t understand.”
“I found the main impact within the home wason the residents,” says manager Mandy Collins. “This has always been a very lively place with music and all different activities going on. So to go from everything to nothing was very hard.”
Debra: “And then it got a little bit better and they could come out of their rooms. But a lot of our residents then had passed away and it was new faces so we had to get to know them.”
Mandy: “We began letting small groups out into the social areas and then the live streams started coming through, which were a lifeline for us, but a lot of the residents simply didn’t understand why the musicians were not here in person. And there is a big difference – now that the performers are coming back into the home again, the engagement from the residents is absolutely brilliant.”
Debra: “When we had our first Music in Hospitals & Care musician back in person, you could see the lights come back on. The only way I can describe it is if you have ever seen the film ‘Awakening’
– that’s what happened to the residents. As soon as they heard the music, they were back. And I knew then that we had something to work with. The music was our future.”