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Talented Care Home Companion Sam Makes his BBC Radio 1 Debut

Residents at a Dorset care home have been tuning in to BBC Radio 1 to hear one of their talented carers hit the airwaves.

Sam Hurst is a companion at Colten Care’s Outstanding rated Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, where he regularly shares his love of music with residents.

The 23-year-old Sturminster Newton local is also one half of the musical duo BLVCK VIØLET and he and his band partner Harrison Walker have just been named finalists in Radio 1’s prestigious ‘Live Lounge Introducing’ competition, an annual, nationwide search to showcase the nation’s best, undiscovered bands.

Sam and Harrison’s original song Lost Love was chosen from 10,000 entries as one of the top five songs in the competition, and while it wasn’t ultimately picked as the winner, it was played on the station’s breakfast show, to the delight of Newstone House residents.

Rita Clay is one of Sam’s biggest fans and tuned into BBC Radio 1 to hear his track.

She said: “I thought it was very good and it was very impressive to hear Sam’s original work as he usually plays cover versions to us residents.

“It’s a massive achievement to be played on BBC Radio 1, especially during the day! And I am now very much looking forward to seeing what the future holds for him.”

Sam said: “Hearing it played on the radio was unreal, immense. And we have since had lots of calls and messages about it from people all over, including the staff and residents here at Newstone House. It’s been incredible.”

Sam was of 18 new recruits to the group-wide Companionship Team at Colten Care recruited under an initiative to offer more support to residents during lockdown.

He added: “I try to sing and play my guitar as much as I can at the home. Music is a big part of our residents’ lives and I alternate with sessions on our dementia floor one week, and another session on our residential floor the next.”

During lockdown Sam also wrote and recorded a light-hearted music video with some residents called ‘Hands, Face and Space’ demonstrating how to adhere to the covid restrictions.

Linda Porter, who appeared in the video, said: “We really enjoyed taking part, singing along to the song and doing all the hand movements. It was great to be involved.”

Fiona Pritchard, Colten Care’s Music and Arts Partner, said: “We are thrilled to have a such a charismatic and talented musician in our team. It is so important for residents to be able to access music and arts and having a professional performing regularly for them is wonderful.”