Sonnet Care Homes (Essex) Limited, Braintree, Essex
Staff at two Braintree care homes have unveiled an array of musical talent to entertain residents during the coronavirus lockdown. From an Elvis tribute to belting out summer sounds, team members from The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court in Bocking have kept residents in high spirits with their in-house entertainment.
With safety paramount during the pandemic, all external entertainment and visitors had to be cancelled. The award-winning Sonnet Care Homes’ activities team responded quickly, taking advantage of the sunshine to arrange garden parties in the homes’ spacious grounds.
Step forward ‘The singing director’ – Finance Director Jo Moore has been singing in bands ranging from rock and roll to function bands since she left school and was soon persuaded to provide live music.
During the recent heatwave, the team arranged a Hawaiian cocktail and mocktail party, with staff dressing up in grass skirts and floral print shirts and Jo entertaining residents with numbers including Sunny Afternoon, Summer Holiday and Surfin’ USA.
I’ve really loved it, it’s been such a privilege and a nice change from looking after the finances!
“It’s been a difficult time and our residents have really missed going out and seeing family as well as our usual entertainments programme. It is lovely to see everyone singing along and tapping their feet, it has really brightened their spirits.”
Jo loves singing Elvis numbers and was in for a surprise when activities team member Russell England made an entrance in full Elvis costume to belt out three favourites.
The talented team also features care worker Clair Tomalin, who demonstrated her skills playing wartime classics on the flugelhorn at the residents’ VE Day party.
Sonnet Care Homes CEO Julia Clinton said:
Our whole team has been focused on keeping residents safe during the lockdown and I’m proud that they’ve gone way beyond the call of duty to bring fun and happiness to our community.”
Last year the care homes’ activities team won a national Activity Organisers of the Year award at the Great British Care Awards.
Catch up on the team’s in-house entertainment on facebook: at
Photos: 1. CEO Julia Clinton (first left) with Sonnet team members Kirsty Anderson, Michaela Clifford, Fran Prentice and Janet Preece join in the Hawaiian Party fun
2. Jo Whitehouse performs with Elvis tribute act Russell England