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Happy to help!

Me and the brilliant Jackie from Hawkinge House (photography by Clare Unsworth of Foxbite Media)

Lordy! What a time! It's been a little while since my last post, with a busy summer and a trip to New Zealand between then and now. I've been back from NZ nearly a month, and it's been quite an adventure, catching up on on my missed September Musical Walkabout dates alongside October’s. The doubling up on visits has been tremendously satisfying, the increased frequency allowing for an even deeper connection with residents, and a different momentum.

The old adage that 'if you want something done, ask a busy person' resonates strongly for me right now, as all the threads of this years expansion of the project start to come together. Grant me the opportunity to elaborate, if nothing else, so I can make sense of all the exciting things happening for the Musical Walkabout!

In August, Clare Unsworth and Daniel Battersby from FoxBite Media came into Hawkinge House to shoot footage for a short filmed project that was part of my Arts Council funding activity plan. The idea was to capture the essence of the sessions and give participants, be they residents, staff or family, to share their thoughts on the Musical Walkabout and what it means to them. This week I saw the final edit of the film. It's difficult to describe just how delighted I am with the finished product, and I simply cannot WAIT to share it with you. Watch this space…

First, however, we must have the 'premiere', to be fittingly held at Hawkinge House in just under two weeks time. Terry Mullan and all the staff have been so supportive of this event, just as they have always been of the project itself, and once we've walked down the red carpet together and eaten the popcorn, I'll be able to share the film with you too; expect a special blog about all that within the month!

This is immediately followed by an opportunity to participate in a Gala Dance in aid of Alzheimer's Organisation organised by the brilliant Jacqui Offen (daughter of the lovely John Offen, resident of Hawkinge House). Held at Canterbury Cathedral's Kentish Barn, the evening will be tremendously special, and I'm looking forward to doing a public version of the Walkabout with attendees.

Also coming up in the roster of super-exciting things is some good old-fashioned CPD, in the form of an exciting workshop for 'Singing and Parkinsons' with Grenville Hancox of Sydney De Haan Research Centre for Music and Health and professional singer and experienced Parkinson's and Singing practitioner Nicola Wydenbach. This accompanies a meeting about next January’s Dementia Action Alliance Expo, and some truly valuable business workshops with Liu Bachelor of LVB Creative.

I guess what all this reminds me is that I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by passionate, knowledgeable, dedicated people who are committed to sharing their skills with others, are simply happy to help. And that if you reach out to other people, make connections, share experiences…everything improves. Which is the core message at the heart of the Musical Walkabout.

Until next time when I’ll set the drums a’rollin’ for the MW Film, take care of yourself and others..



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