Communities of shielding care home residents across the UK will unite in isolation on Remembrance Sunday (8th November), to pay tribute to Dame Vera Lynn by taking part in a mass sing-a-long hosted by registered charity Shapeshifter Productions.
The event will be hosted virtually and has been organised in partnership with Decca Records.
Coinciding with the release of Dame Vera’s new album, residents will sing her enduring classic ‘We’ll Meet Again’ - a song that perhaps hasn’t held a more appropriate message of hope for the country since the songs original release in 1939.
The sing-a-long is the latest in a series of ‘Smiling Sessions’, a free participatory singing experience that performing arts charity, Shapeshifter Productions, have hosted in care homes in London and the South East for the past 10 years.
Due to the pandemic, care homes across the country have had to close their doors to visitors in a bid to shield vulnerable residents from coronavirus. With shielding precautions still in place today, many care home residents remain isolated in their rooms, unable to participate in social activities or see loved ones.
Like many organisations, the charity switched to hosting the sessions virtually and have been broadcasting into care homes throughout lockdown to combat loneliness, promote mental wellbeing and trigger happy memories. As a result of becoming a virtual activity, The Smiling Sessions are now operating on a national level.
Singing is one of the proven activities that promote mental & physical health, particularly within elderly communities where group activities are essential to maintain general well-being.
Virginia Lewis–Jones, Dame Vera Lynn’s daughter commented: “Throughout my mother's life during challenging times, she was always able to bring people together in a community spirit.
“I am very happy that on Remembrance Sunday her fans across the UK, Ireland and Scotland who are isolating and also in Care Homes, will be paying tribute to her by singing 'We'll Meet Again' together.
“It has been a terrible time for the older generation this year and it's wonderful to see that even though my Mother can't be with us, her legacy lives on lifting spirits, and bringing everyone together during these unprecedented times.”