Shielding care home residents to pay tribute to Dame Vera Lynn with a mass sing-a-long on Remembrance Sunday

Communities of care home residents across the UK will unite in isolation on Remembrance Sunday (November 8), to pay tribute to Dame Vera Lynn by taking part in a mass sing-a-long hosted by registered charity Shapeshifter Productions.

The event will be hosted virtually and has been organised in partnership with Decca Records, with care homes in Lambeth and Lewisham taking part.

Coinciding with the release of Dame Vera’s new album, residents will sing her enduring classic ‘We’ll Meet Again’ - a song that perhaps hasn’t held a more appropriate message of hope for the nation since the songs original release in 1939.

The sing-a-long is the latest in a series of ‘Smiling Sessions’, a free participatory singing experience that Shapeshifter Productions, a performing arts charity, have hosted in care homes in London and the South East for the past 10 years.

Due to the pandemic, care homes across the country have had to close their doors to visitors in a bid to shield vulnerable residents from coronavirus. With shielding precautions still in place today, many care home residents remain isolated in their rooms, unable to participate in social activities or see loved ones.

Like many organisations, the charity switched to hosting the sessions virtually and have been broadcasting into care homes throughout lockdown to combat loneliness, promote mental wellbeing and trigger happy memories. As a result of becoming a virtual activity, The Smiling Sessions are now operating on a national level.

Singing is one of the proven activities that promote mental and physical health, particularly within elderly communities where group activities are essential to maintain general well-being.

Celebrity psychologist, Dr Cassidy, commented: “I cannot highlight enough the profound significance of The Smiling Sessions initiative in its attempt to improve the overall physical psychological health and well-being of those residents in care homes and sheltered housing.

“The resonance of ‘We’ll Meet Again’, together with the colourful visual effects of fellow isolating members of their generation on screen, will facilitate happy memories of events in their entire life span and add meaning to the quality of their everyday lives.”

These virtual sessions have been a lifeline for the residents and provided some much-needed comfort. Pamela, a participant from Glebelands Care Home commented, “This singalong event makes me happy and lively”.

The Smiling Sessions are raising funds to pay for tablets and iPads for care homes participating in the weekly sing-a-longs.

If you wish to donate or join in with the Remembrance Sunday sing-a-long go to The sessions are free for homes and isolated elderly.