After lockdown if you didn’t have a computer, tablet or smartphone there was obviously no way to connect with the online world. But everyone has a landline nowadays. So we began a befriending service led by our administration manager Sam Tomlinson.

Joan Whelan loves music and dancing

Our music services had come to an abrupt halt so he asked musicians who already had personal friendships with residents in care homes and sheltered housing projects to keep in touch. Some were happy to just have a chat every week and some liked the music so much they had musicians singing songs they’d chosen over the phone. Spearheading this have been Dion Palumbo who is also a trained counsellor, Emma King, our classical percussionist and Marco Magnani our liquid fast guitarist for Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Mark and the Clouds.

Liz Wood’s class at Drovers in partnership with Age UK Islington

Then there were a lot of people who used to come to the exercise classes which we were able to shirft over to the internet. But a largish minority didn’t use computers. So Sam asked their exercise teachers to keep in touch regularly by phone.

Emma King

We are looking forward to coming our of lockdown and re-establishing live events and classes but are committed to keeping all and any long-distance connections.