Bagpiper lifts spirits for care home residents on Burns Night

Residents at Windmill House Care Home in Wymondham enjoying the Burns Night bagpipe performance by volunteer piper and...

Residents at Windmill House Care Home in Wymondham enjoying the Burns Night bagpipe performance by volunteer piper and Wymondham resident Alisdair McClymont. - Credit: Fran Annis

Spirits were lifted and happy memories made for care home residents and staff at a special Burns Night celebration.

The Covid-secure event on January 25 took place in the day for dozens of people at Windmill House, owned by Runwood Homes Senior Living, on Browick Road in Wymondham.

Alisdair McClymont, from Wymondham, who volunteered to play the bagpipes for residents at Windmill House Care Home in...

Alisdair McClymont, from Wymondham, who volunteered to play the bagpipes for residents at Windmill House Care Home in Wymondham for a covid-secure Burns NIght performance. - Credit: Fran Annis

Delighted spectators were treated to a two-hour live bagpipe performance by Scotsman Alisdair McClymont, from Wymondham, who marched outside the home in traditional Highland clothes despite the freezing temperatures.

Residents could view from their rooms or through windows in a communal area and the show was also enjoyed by children at the neighbouring Browick Road Primary and Nursery School.

Fran Annis, wellbeing lead for Windmill House, said: "Everybody got into the swing of it. Two of the residents were doing a Highland Fling. It brought tears to a couple of people's eyes because it brought back happy memories and allowed them to reminisce. It was a good morale boost."

Bernie Brown, 91, who served in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers in the Second World War. He is now a resident at...

Bernie Brown, 91, who served in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers in the Second World War. He is now a resident at Windmill House Care Home in Wymondham. - Credit: Fran Annis

One of the spectators was Bernie Brown, 91, who served in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers in the Second World War.

He said bagpipe music brought back emotional memories because the Sea Force Highlanders welcomed him and his company after arriving in Singapore, following an arduous journey from Southampton during the conflict.

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Windmill House predominantly cares for people with dementia and Mrs Annis said it was important to help residents reminisce.

As well as the music, traditional food including haggis and shortbread was served, the garden was decked out in flags and residents and staff wore Scottish hats.

A resident from Windmill House Care Home in Wymondham enjoying the Burns Night celebrations on January 25, 2021.

A resident from Windmill House Care Home in Wymondham enjoying the Burns Night celebrations on January 25, 2021. - Credit: Fran Annis

"The residents were able to engage visually because of the music and the piper's bright outfit," Mrs Annis said.

She added: "Children from the school clapped and cheered. It was lovely to have the link between the two generations. Wymondham is a supportive community and the residents have a role in that community."

They usually go on trips out within the local area including to a dementia-friendly cafe and the garden centre but due to coronavirus restrictions those have stopped. 

However residents can talk to people through online video technology and some visits can take place in Covid-secure areas.


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