The Healing Power of Music: How The Spitz Charitable Trust is supporting Care Home Residents and Staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Spitz Charitable Trust brings the power of live music to care home residents and staff, which is more crucial than ever during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Born out of the former music and arts venue, The Spitz, located at Old Spitalfields Market, the charity came into being in January 2014. Their aim is to relieve isolation and increase wellbeing through the power of live music.
The charity works with professional musicians, drawn from a pool of talent founded in the original Spitz venue, to connect people who may be isolated due to economic realities, age, ethnicity, disability, culture and other disadvantages. In particular, they engage older people in care homes through participatory music sessions, and link them with young people, to create a positive impact on the lives of everyone involved.
Their music sessions and public events have been shown to ease anxiety, encourage interaction and improve wellbeing and cognitive function through both mental and physical participation.
In 2019, The Spitz were recognised for the incredibly meaningful work they do, winning the Mayor of London’s Culture Seeds Award for “Culture and Wellbeing” – with Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, referring to “their excellent work in Islington” and commenting that they are “proof that culture can benefit us all.”
The Spitz have been in residency at Bridgeside Lodge Care Home in Islington, London, since May 2018. The home offers specialist care for elderly people and for younger people with neurological and spinal conditions. The Spitz musicians perform for residents in communal spaces of the home and they tour corridors with their music to ensure it reaches all residents. They also host garden parties at Bridgeside Lodge – taking advantage of the home’s riverside location – where staff, residents and families can come together to enjoy the music on offer.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Bridgeside Lodge to stop all but essential visitors entering the building to protect the health of residents, The Spitz decided to think outside the box and came up with some creative ways to lift the spirits of residents and staff. The Spitz musicians recorded personalised songs for residents and created a weekly “Clap for Carers” video on their YouTube channel.
Now that lockdown restrictions have started to ease, The Spitz have been able to return to the garden of Bridgeside Lodge to perform a series of socially-distanced concerts.
Following the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Bridgeside Lodge community in particular, The Spitz are planning a number of musical gatherings to bring the care home’s community, including bereaved families, together. These gatherings will also provide an opportunity for grief counselling and therapeutic support and it is hoped that this will offer some healing.
Boly Burdon Kemp are very proud to support The Spitz and we are urging others to get behind the charity by making a donation to their Crowdfunder campaign or by simply sharing their remarkable story with others.