THE MAYOR of Rugby has lent his voice to online sing-along sessions organised by Rugby Dementia Support (RDS).
RDS has held the weekly sessions on video chat platform Zoom throughout the lockdown to keep members entertained and in touch with each other.
And Coun Bill Lewis accepted an invitation to join the sing-along – the first ‘virtual engagement’ of his Mayoral term.
Members receive song sheets by email before the sessions take place, together with the log-in details for Zoom.
Music comes courtesy of pianist Lisa and her family, with around 20 members joining in renditions of songs such as Morning Has Broken, Any Old Iron and I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.
Coun Lewis, who chose to support RDS as one of his Mayoral charities, said the sessions were a welcome opportunity for members to socialise during the coronavirus pandemic, with family members from across the UK – and even Australia – joining the sing-along.
He said: “The lockdown restrictions have presented challenges for all of us and we’ve all had to find new ways of keeping in touch.
“The restrictions have been particularly difficult for residents who were advised to shield due to ill-health or who live alone, and the support provided by organisations such as RDS has been vital, even when it comes ‘virtually’ through an online Zoom call.”
The sessions, co-ordinated by RDS chair Jane Muers and secretary Bernie Bayliss, have been backed by a grant from the Westham House Fund.
In addition to the weekly sing-along sessions, RDS holds support meetings for carers and meetings for members who live alone.
The charity has also carried on its traditional pub lunches during lockdown with the help of Rugby Borough Football Club, which has arranged for fish and chips to be delivered to members’ homes.
Coun Lewis said: “When I became Mayor of Rugby I never imagined I’d be attending engagements via the internet, let alone my Mayoral term would be extended to May 2021 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Lockdown has demonstrated the strength we have in our communities, through family, friends, neighbours, and community and charitable organisations such as RDS.
“This strength has helped Rugby rise to the challenges we’ve faced during the pandemic, and should make us all proud to call the borough our home.”
Visit www.rugbydementiasupport.org.uk for more information on Rugby Dementia Support.
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/mayor for more information on the Mayor of Rugby and how to support his Mayoral charities.