Coronavirus: Fareham care home residents on lockdown over Covid-19 enjoy live opera show from their car park

LOCKDOWN over coronavirus may have left care home residents unable to see their loved ones on Mother's Day, but it failed to stop them from uniting in song thanks to one kindhearted opera star.

Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 5:26 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 9:41 pm

Jennifer Parker-Lummis on Sunday took the ingenious step of performing for elderly tenants at Hartwell Lodge in Fareham from the social distance of its car park.

The 41-year-old is one of thousands of artists having to get creative after the government ordered the closure of UK entertainment venues to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Hartwell Lodge’s residents peered through windows and doors and raised a smile as Jennifer wowed them with renditions of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Nessun Dorma and Que Sera Sera over a PA system.

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A Hartwell Lodge resident watches through the front door with a smile as Jennifer Parker-Lummis performs in the car park. Picture: Hartwell Lodge

Jennifer told The News: ‘It gives me immense pleasure to sing for other people.

‘I busk in Fareham sometimes and when people come and talk to me and tell me what I've done has moved them, it makes me so proud to know I’ve brought them some form of joy.

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‘Some of the residents at the home had been isolated for days now and I know what kind of impact the power of music can have on mental health.

Jennifer Parker-Lummis performs for residents at Hartwell Lodge in Fareham from the social distance of their car park. Picture: Michael Lummis

‘It meant a lot to me to be able to sing for them and brighten up their day.'

Jo Cole, a team leader at Hartwell Lodge, said the rousing performance came as coronavirus put the home in an unprecedented position to keep its residents safe.

And for 94-year-old Sheila Alford, who has lived there for two years, enjoying a personal performance made all the difference as her pals are unable to see their nearest and dearest.

‘[Jennifer] was marvellous to come out and see us – it really was most enjoyable,’ she said.

Opera singer Jennifer Parker-Lummis performs outside Hartwell Lodge Care Home, Fareham, on Mother's Day as elderly residents are unable to take visitors because of lockdown measures put in place to fight coronavirus. Picture: Michael Lummis

‘I gather it’s her living, but it was wonderful of her to sing from the car park.’

The performance followed a rock show from the car park by the Tom Davies Trio on Saturday.

Ms Cole, a worker at the home for seven years, added: ‘The atmosphere has been lovely.

‘This is all about trying to spread a bit of happiness at a difficult time and the residents had a brilliant time.’