Shipton Scouts bring virtual Christmas concert to local care home

The holiday spirit was truly alive at Hill House in Sandbach after residents took part in a virtual Christmas concert with local Explorer Scout Unit, Shipton ESU.

On Thursday 10 December, residents and Scouts joined together via video to enjoy a sing-a-long of Christmas classics, including Winter Wonderland, The Twelve Days of Christmas and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. 

As well as the group songs, Hill House residents and Shipton ESU also pre-recorded their own musical items to showcase on the day, including a performance of Away in a Manger from a resident at Hill House. 

When asked about the evening, Lesley, a resident at Hill House, commented: “I really enjoyed the night, it was good.” Fellow resident Janice agreed and described it as “a lovely evening.”

Reflecting on the night, Lesley Crawley, a staff member at Hill House, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everybody involved in the Christmas concert, the scouts and our service users, it was a huge success!”

Hill House is the centre of a unique assistive technology project which sees the 24 residents, who have a range of disabilities, benefit from specialist technology to help improve their independence and social inclusion. Accessible activities, like the virtual concert, are central to the project. Residents were able to enjoy the performances through a Clevertouch interactive PC which has video conferencing facilities. 

Technology continued to play a vital role in the event through one of the main highlights from the evening, a virtual poem that Shipton ESU collated of ‘A visit from St Nicholas’, with Scouts and Hill House residents each reading lines of the poem to the camera.

“As Scouts, we are always looking for ways for our members to engage with and give back to their community,” explained Graham Proctor, Assistant County Commissioner (Explorer Scouts). “With Covid-19 having had such a huge impact on life for the residents and staff of Hill House, we wanted to do something to connect each other, albeit online, to share some Christmas cheer!"

The evening’s festivities were also extended to friends and family of the residents, who were invited to join the concert via Zoom.

“This year has been difficult for so many, with lockdown significantly reducing the types of social interaction opportunities available for our residents. So, when Graham reached out to us to offer the virtual concert, we were absolutely thrilled,” commented David Hursthouse, Assistive Technology Project Manager at Hill House.

“Having held face-to-face Christmas concerts previously at Hill House, the virtual concert seemed like the perfect opportunity for the Scouts to see first-hand what a difference assistive technology is making to the lives of our residents.”

Find out more about the impact of assistive technology at Hill House.

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