“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day” ~ Dame Vera Lynn, We’ll Meet Again
In honour of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and as they knew that their residents were missing their families following restrictions on visitors due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, residents across the care homes under the RCH Care Homes umbrella were surprised on VE Day (Friday 8th May) with a short video of their loved ones singing the iconic wartime hit We’ll Meet Again back to them.
Despite restrictions on visitors, ensuring residents and their families can continue to regularly communicate with each other has been a key priority for the care group who introduced a number of digital initiatives at the beginning of the crisis, including investing in a number of tablets and iPads which would allow for frequent video calls. Asking residents’ loved ones and members of the local community to surprise and reassure residents with videos of themselves singing the famous song seemed the next natural step in their journey of using digital communication to support their residents’ wellbeing.
The idea came about following a recent interview in the Radio Times with Forces’ sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn who suggested that her iconic song can help communities through the coronavirus pandemic. For so many older people, this is a song which invokes a number of memories and, 75 years on, with residents and families separated yet again due to circumstances out of their control, it resonates even more deeply than normal – especially after the Queen herself referenced it during her inaugural COVID-19 public speech last month.
Chief Operating Officer Stephen Rees commented, “We are delighted at how many of our residents’ loved ones supported our request and the final film is even better than we originally hoped for. We know how much our residents and their loved ones were missing each other during these unprecedented times, and we hope this went some small way to bringing them joy on a day they would have normally commemorated with their families and friends visiting the homes. Our deepest thanks to all those who contributed, we truly appreciate it as we know how much it meant to our residents to receive such a special message from you.”