CareCare HomesNewsSocial Care

Talented Volunteer Strikes a Chord at Oldbury Care Home

A talented young volunteer has received an award in recognition of her exceptional contributions at an Oldbury care home.

Hannah Chambers began volunteering at Portway House Care Home on Newbury Lane in 2021, just as COVID-19 restrictions began to ease. Since then, she has visited the home regularly, orchestrating moments of joy for residents with customised performances of their favourite songs.

In recognition of her commitment to brightening the lives of Portway House residents, Hannah recently received an Oldbury Community Volunteers Award.

These awards celebrate individuals making a difference in Wednesbury through voluntary work. Hannah was among 14 young volunteers in Sandwell who received this prestigious certificate and had the honour of enjoying tea and cake with the Mayor at the Council House.

One of Hannah’s most remarkable contributions is singing on the dementia floor. She has a deep affinity for those with dementia, carefully selecting songs from their life stories and family anecdotes. Families and residents alike have showered her with compliments for her ability to connect with residents through her music, truly hitting the right note in their hearts.

Kim Young, registered manager at Portway House, praised Hannah’s commitment, saying, “What sets Hannah apart is her personalised approach. She takes the time to engage with residents, learning their favourite songs and listening to their stories. Drawing from these interactions, Hannah tailors her shows to each resident’s preferences. She even creates special themed performances for occasions like Christmas and Halloween, which are always a hit.

“What makes Hannah truly special is her dedication. Beyond group performances, she always finds time to visit residents too unwell to leave their beds, bringing her music directly to them. She has brought invaluable comfort and happiness to our residents, especially those with dementia. Her commitment is a shining example of the positive impact one individual can make.”

Although not a professional singer, Hannah’s talent was nurtured during her time in the National Youth Theatre. While she pursued academia, her love for performing remained. As a member of Amdrams (The Amateur Theatre Network), she decided to use her passion to bring music to the ears of residents at Portway House.

Hannah shared her experience, saying, “I never imagined that my love for singing could make such a profound difference in people’s lives. The smiles and joy I see on the residents’ faces make every moment worth it. It’s safe to say that I enjoy my time with all the residents and singing for them even more than they do!”