The Hallé comes to Ancoats, Clayton and Bradford!

Zak Valli, Health Development Coordinator for Ancoats, Clayton & Bradford, blogs on the collaboration between The Hallé Orchestra and care homes across the neighbourhood.

I had been having conversations over lockdown with The Hallé Orchestra (Manchester’s Orchestra since 1858) after connecting with the organisation through our Health Development Coordinator newsletter for Ancoats, Clayton and Bradford. The Hallé wanted to adopt a new approach and bring the ‘Hallé to the party’ by being out in Manchester communities, performing in neighbourhoods in different settings and making the music as accessible as possible.

Simultaneously, during lockdown we created Together in Times, an intergenerational booklet involving all the care homes across Ancoats, Clayton and Bradford and one of the local schools. The booklet was designed to show how people were feeling in lockdown and describe memories from childhood such as favourite ice cream, who was your best friend as a child and to draw a picture of yourself. This booklet then got exchanged from schools to care homes and vice versa. We had built up relationships with the care homes in our community through this and primary care vaccinations and flu jabs. The booklets were a success and really connected residents in the care homes to the community during what was an isolating time.

It was then suggested that The Hallé could come into the care homes in our community which led to conversations with all the care home managers who loved the idea with one manager saying “Anything to put a smile on our residents faces.” Funded by the Ancoats, Clayton and Bradford neighbourhood wellbeing fund, musicians and singers from The Hallé visited care homes across the neighbourhood. Residents were up dancing, singing and playing instruments. Residents at Mary and Josephs House in Beswick even gave a standing ovation after the session.

It’s been a huge success with the main feedback coming from the care homes being “when are you coming back?!” We are currently undertaking an evaluation of this project and look forward to more performances in the future.

For more information, please contact Zak – zakaria.valli@nhs.net
Follow Ancoats, Clayton and Bradford on Facebook and Twitter.