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Music to our New Forest ears!

Fiona Pritchard's gift of music, with personalised request show for Colten Care relatives and residents

Families of residents at Colten Care’s 21 care homes have been sharing the gift of music with their loved ones through a personalised ‘request show’.

More than 100 relatives responded to an invite to send in radio-style listeners’ dedications, an idea put forward by Fiona Pritchard, Colten’s Music & Arts Partner.

After gathering the requests, Fiona arranged one-to-one time with each resident so she could play their particular song or piece of music on an iPad and read out the personal message from their family.

The result is all recorded in this poignant video.

From Bing Crosby to the Bee Gees, Chopin to Chattanooga Choo Choo, the requests have included classical nocturnes, jazz standards, pop hits and rock and roll favourites.

Fiona said: “Our roving request show has provided each resident with a most marvellous journey down memory lane.

“The moments when they heard me read out the dedication, saying why the piece of music held special meaning for the family, and then hearing it played just for them, have been magical.

“It has been a joy to see residents smiling, joining in with songs, tapping their feet in time, and reflecting on what the music means to them.

“Sometimes a ballad has been soothing and relaxing, while other people have been energised by up-tempo tunes they danced to when they were younger.”

Ena Potter, who lives at Bourne View in Poole, enjoyed a request for Rod Stewart’s hit Sailing sent in by her daughter Liz.

“It was lovely,” said Ena. “We used to love to hear that song when we were going down to Cornwall on holiday. We would all sing away to it. I think even the dog knew it.”

The Frank Sinatra hit Come Fly With Me was chosen for Rosemary Cottrell, a resident at Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, by her daughter Jenny. They have planned to take a helicopter ride together along the Dorset coast and the request was sent to whet Rosemary’s appetite.

Elsewhere, Pete Jordan requested When the Saints Go Marching In for his mother Marigold who lives at Linden House, Colten’s dedicated dementia care home in Lymington.

Watching her response on a video clip, Pete said: “It’s absolutely wonderful. My mum’s face is a picture of happiness.”

“We played a Louis Armstrong version and her eyes went wide in delight and her toes began to tap,” Fiona said, adding: “Music is a common language with a positive effect on our well-being. It stimulates our emotions and motivation, and because it’s non-verbal, it’s accessible to everyone.” 

With residents and families’ permission, a selection of the moments when the tunes were played have been captured on a short film available on Colten Care’s YouTube channel

"Behind every person you care for is a whole lifetime of experiences”

One viewer, Sue Chennell, said: “What a brilliant video. It’s a great reminder that behind every person you care for is a whole lifetime of experiences.”

Try out living in a Colten Care home with a two weeks completely free stay

If you, your partner or parent would like to experience a Colten Care home first-hand, Colten Care is currently offering the opportunity to stay for two weeks completely free. 

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Find out more about Colten Care's New Forest homes online

With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company. It has 21 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care.

Colten Care operates six residential nursing and care homes in the New Forest, including three in Lymington: Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and dementia specialist Linden House. There are also homes in Brockenhurst (Woodpecker's), New Milton (Kingfisher's) and Mudeford (Avon Reach). Click on the links to find out more about each home... 

Colten Care's Avon Reach    Colten Care Court Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Linden House Lymington 

Colten Care Belmore Lodge Lymington    Colten Care Kingfishers New Milton    Colten Care Woodpeckers Brockenhurst