Sarisbury Green care home helps 87-year-old resident fulfill lifelong ambition to learn the guitar

A CARE home has struck the right chord with one resident – after staff helped her fulfil her lifelong wish of learning the guitar.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 11:10 am
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 11:52 am
Cathy Barnett with her guitar Picture: Care UK

Cathy Barnett’s wish has come true after team members at Care UK’s Ancasta Grove, in Barnes Lane, Sarisbury Green, helped her learn to the play the guitar at the age of 87.

But picking up the instrument hasn’t been easy for Cathy – as a normal sized guitar would be too large for her.

A smaller guitar was found in need of fixing, but the home’s lifestyle co-ordinator Richard Hazelgrove was able to solicit repairs from Ancasta Grove’s very own repair shop.

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Cathy said: ‘I always wanted to play the guitar. My mother was a music teacher and my father played ukulele - I play the piano but always fancied playing the guitar.

‘I am most looking forward to learning music by Jim Reeves and other country music. I would like to thank Richard for encouraging me to learn a new skill and I can’t wait to be able to play for all the residents.’

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Raymond Arnold, the manager of the Fareham care home, said it had been ‘so rewarding’ to see Cathy’s confidence grow as she mastered her new instrument.

He said: ‘Cathy has always wanted to learn how to play guitar, but never had the opportunity, so we knew we had to make it happen for her - and the residents at our repair shop were all too happy to help.

‘Here at Ancasta Grove, we encourage residents to try something new to enable them to live active and fulfilled lives. Music has long been known to be a great mood enhancer and to for stimulate brain activity, so it’s fantastic to have brought this to life for Cathy.

‘It’s been so rewarding to see Cathy’s confidence grow – we’re very much looking forward to her first performance.’

Ancasta Grove opened its doors in June to provide residential, nursing, and specialist dementia care, as well as respite and end-of-life care.

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