Care home choir from Rhyl wins UK-wide talent contest


Stephanie Price

A CHOIR based at a care home has won a national talent competition.

The singing ladies from Alastair House in Rhyl were declared winners of Care Home Idol 2016 for their rendition of Any Dream Will Do from the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Contestants comprised residents and staff from the UK’s 19,000 care homes, who sumbitted videos of their performances, with the winner chosen by Sylvie Silver, director of the National Activity Providers Association [for older people].

The competition was devised in order to showcase the talent and vibrancy that exists in care homes and challenge people’s preconceptions of residential care.

Ms Silver, who campaigns for care homes to put activities at the heart of their care, said she chose the choir at Alistair House in Rhyl because “they had clearly put a lot of work into their performance prior to the filming”.

She said: “They were all so engaged with the song and were really concentrating on the conductor.

”I sensed that they gained from the benefits of singing regularly in the choir which is more than a single performance might offer.” 

Ms Silver added: “It was clear from watching all the clips that many residents gain from being encouraged to connect and join in with activities like singing.

”I was particularly pleased to see individuals gaining attention as we know that spontaneous moments can have as much impact as larger scale group activities.” 

Lakhansi Keshwalla, who owns Alastair House, said the choir were ”delighted” at winning Care Home Idol 2016.

He said: “Daily activities play a vital role at the home and the residents love participating in choir singing every week. It is a joyful experience for them.

“The video [of the song] enabled us to share this beautiful moment with everyone. We are a dementia care home and daily activity helps our residents to stimulate their mind and body.” 

Care home manager Samantha Leuty set up the choir with co-ordinator Carol Smith, who, Mr Keshwalla said, was the ”the backbone of all this as she also organised the outfits, getting the residents proper dresses to wear with Alastair House sashes”.

Davina Ludlow, director of services provider, which ran the competition, said: ”We would like to congratulate the ladies at Alastair House care home for winning Care Home Idol 2016 with their touching version of Any Dream Will Do. It looks like they really enjoyed making the video.

”We had so many entries this year and we have been pleased to see so many care home residents and staff get involved. Care Home Idol is a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on all the wonderful talent that exists in care homes.” 

Alastair House care home will receive a trophy and a cash prize. 

The choir’s winning video can be viewed at

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