(original article can be found at https://www.lymington.com/news/132-living/1910-colten-care-one-voice-2jul21)

cardio drumming at Belmore Lodge in Lymington

Ed Note: We have reported previously on the amazing Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s head of music and arts, who combines her exceptional musicianship with resident care and companionship of the highest standards; I personally witnessed how with such tenderness and compassion she would calm and reassure my own mother with advanced dementia in Colten Care’s Linden House specialist dementia home.

Here she has really excelled herself. World Music Day was the trigger for this beautiful rendition of the Barry Manilow song One Voice, which Fiona orchestrated to begin with a solo and build to a climax of many voices and instruments in harmony. Please do watch the video, it certainly brought a tear to our eyes!


From cardio drumming to song and dance routines

From cardio drumming to performing song and dance routines, World Music Day inspired a harmonious week of uplifting sounds for care home residents and staff. Colten Care found a host of ways to celebrate the universal joy and power of music, bringing smiles and positive vibes all round.

Residents at Belmore Lodge in Lymington stretched their arms for a fun workout drumming on exercise balls to the rhythm of the 1961 Dion hit The Wanderer.

Those living at Outstanding-rated Woodpeckers in nearby Brockenhurst took part in a closely fought musical bingo tournament featuring lyrics from favourite pop songs.

And all four of Colten’s dedicated dementia care homes got in on the act too, staging musical experiences for residents.

There was a 1950s singalong at Outstanding-rated Linden House in Lymington and a song and dance afternoon at Outstanding-rated Fernhill in Longham near Bournemouth.

dressed up characters and elderly residentsIt featured Companionship team members Anne Marie Knight and Megan Fletcher dressing up and performing the Judy Garland song A Couple of Swells and the signature tune from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

In a karaoke session, residents at St Catherines View in Winchester sang and played percussion instruments while The Aldbury in Poole held a name-that-tune competition.

Among other homes, Braemar Lodge in Salisbury invited residents to join the global dance challenge prompted by the success of the song Jerusalema by South African DJ and producer Master KG.

And while singer and Companionship team member Rebecca Osborne performed ‘a musical trip around the world’ at Outstanding-rated Amberwood House in Ferndown, residents at Avon Reach in Mudeford enjoyed a trip down memory lane with music hall songs and reminiscence.

Voices and playing from all 21 Colten homes in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and West Sussex are represented in a new music video celebrating their creative talent.

It features a special arrangement of Barry Manilow’s song One Voice by Colten’s Music and Arts Partner Fiona Pritchard.

Opening with a solo from Kirby Sharp, a Healthcare Assistant at Abbotts Barton in Winchester, the video includes cello, flute, violin and guitar as well as singing.

Fiona said: “Some of the singers and players may have been nervous beforehand but everyone finished their parts with laughs and smiles. There was a real sense of achievement and positivity as with all our Music Day activities. The homes came up with such a wide variety of ideas to celebrate the occasion, all supporting our residents’ wellbeing.”

Jo Gough, who lives at St Catherines View and is shown in the One Voice video in the role of conductor, said of her experience: “It’s wonderful, it’s beautiful.”

You can also watch the film on Colten Care’s YouTube channel www.YouTube.com/ColtenCare.

The top picture is the cardio drumming at Belmore Lodge in Lymington

The lower picture is of singing and dancing along to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Outstanding-rated Fernhill