Hi I’m Ukulele Piddle….whoa…don’t leave the page just yet!
Ukulele Care Home Entertainment
I’m one of the army of care home entertainers that traipse around the counties visiting, and hopefully entertaining, care home residents.
I’m very fortunate that my wife said, “Forget the long hours and international travel – retire early!” (I was an IT service manager for Dell managing Scandinavia). I had polio as a child and it was getting a little bit too much. So a couple of years ago at the ripe old age of 58, that’s what I did. I’d been in IT for over 30 years but after learning the ukulele on a Wednesday evening then forming The Ukey D’Ukes – a 7 piece electric rock ‘n roll uke band – my wife said ‘Go for it!’.
Singing for Dementia Clubs and Day Centres
So, here I am two years later with over 1000 hours of entertaining under my belt. Wiltshire has been very kind to me. I’ve cut my teeth on ‘Singing for the Brain’, dementia clubs, day centres, Wiltshire county council events and care homes such as Brendoncare Froxfield.
I truly love what I do. And it’s not just a case of belting out a few tunes.. You also have to manage the highs and lows. I’m entertaining the care home residents, their families and, very importantly, the staff. I’m now often asked to pop up to residents who can’t get down to the lounge but who would still love to hear a couple of tunes.
Performing for Our Heroes
I love the banter, the chats and most of all the discoveries. Do you know I’ve met a rock legend’s mum, Winston Churchill’s secretary and his photographer’s assistant? I’ve met war heroes, three ladies who delivered spitfires and those that worked at Bletchley Park. I’ve met chaps who were made to stay behind and keep the mines working and women who kept their families together for years when their men were away at war.
“To see a care home resident suddenly light up and sing with me when they hear ‘their song’ is absolute magic.”
I choose to play with no backing tapes, no speakers or effects – just me and my uke. And don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all George Formby. I get asked for Queen, The Clash and Bach. To see a care home resident suddenly light up and sing with me when they hear ‘their’ song is absolute magic.
So, the next time you are passing and see me strumming away….ITS A UKULELE – not a guitar!!!!!!
And why Piddle?! Book me and I’ll tell you why.