Who could forget the visit by the Oldham College choir to cheer up local resident Terrence last Christmas?
His reaction when the Rochdale Road college took him gifts and sang his favourite carol touched the hearts of millions of TV viewers then – and they've just gone and done it again: only ‘virtually’ this time, of course…
Laura Purdey, the college's Grange Theatre Manager, recently hatched a plan to make sure that Terrence and others know they are not forgotten at a time when so many older or vulnerable people are self-isolating across the country from the COVID-19 pandemic.
She enlisted support from a whole cast of Oldham College staff and students to record their own version of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ from their homes.
Karl Chadwick, who works in the college's Marketing team, then spent many hours cutting, splicing and sewing all the harmonies together into one synchronised video.
Then Sophie Jones, a Performing Arts student who appears in the new video, went to visit Terrence at his home.
Laura said: "Sophie has become great friends with Terrence since last year, so she was really excited to take the video and show it to him. She knocked on his door and then stepped away to keep her social distance, before recording his reaction.
"We wanted to show our support for all residents who are feeling vulnerable and isolated at this time – and to raise awareness for Age UK Oldham.
"They need urgent donations to support new services they have set up during this pandemic to ensure people get the practical help, food, information, advice and emotional support they need. Please support them today by going online and visiting justgiving.com/age-uk-oldham
"We also chose Somewhere Over the Rainbow because it has become an anthem and a recognised way to pay tribute to those amazing NHS staff and key workers who we are all inspired by."
And all the work was worth it – because Terrence’s reaction was typically emotional as he dabbed away the tears with his gloved hands.
"Isn’t that lovely?” said Terrence. “Oh dear…You see, you’ve got me at it again, haven’t you?
"I’m really lucky because I have become good friends with people at Oldham College now on Facebook. And I don’t mean just acquaintances, I mean friends, and I keep in touch with them all."
You can view the video – including the full song and Terrence’s reaction – at the top of the page.
Age UK Oldham is urgently requesting donations to support the vital new local services they have created to respond quickly to the older people of Oldham at their time of greatest need.
Many are in dire need of friendly and practical support, food, essentials, information and advice, emotional support and friendship.
It may not be possible to offer this face-to-face but it is still and option, and all the more precious, via telephone.
Demand has increased rapidly and Age UK Oldham has extended these services to cover seven days a week.
Visit justgiving.com/age-uk-oldham to donate to this cause.
WE ARE A COMMUNITY!
With the majority of people now staying safe indoors, it’s important we use this time to stay safe, but to also stay positive and come together! We're going to share nothing but positive and uplifting stories from the people and businesses in our community in a dedicated 'We Are A Community!' section of our website here: https://www.questmedianetwork.co.uk/news/we-are-a-community/.
To tell us all about your feel-good stories, head to https://www.questmedianetwork.co.uk/we-are-a-community/ and we'll be in touch!