Panto stages surprise show in Lanark care home

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WHEN the notion of taking all residents of a Lanarkshire care home to a Christmas pantomime became all but impossible, the manager responded . . . “Oh no it isn’t!”

Instead of some residents - who were unable to travel - missing out, Charles Delaney, manager of South Lanarkshire Council’s McClymont House in Lanark, brought all the magic of the panto to the care home!

“Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a good pantomime!” said Charles. “We’ve been doing a lot of reminiscence work and some of the residents expressed a wish to go out to see a show.

“We looked at the options but travelling into Glasgow or even closer really wasn’t going to be feasible for some.

“There’s a real sense of community here at McClymont House and nobody wanted their friends to miss out. I think most residents quietly resigned themselves to thinking it wasn’t going to happen.”

But Charles organised a visit from travelling theatre Evermore Productions, who performed Cinderella.

Children from a local nursery also came along to put on a carol signing performance.

Resident Helen Ford, a retired primary teacher from Carluke, said: “The magic of a trip to the pantomime, for me, is as much about bringing young and old together as it is the storyline. We had all that magic right here in our living room. It was wonderful.”

Jessie Burrell, originally from Carstairs Junction said: “It was lovely to share that atmosphere, sing-along and cheer as we watched Cinderella outwit her ugly sisters!”

Local schools, Lanark Primary and St Mary’s are also due to visit the care home for carol singing. It follows a visit from the local Beavers club earlier this month. The community-spirited work comes at a vital time as health and social care integrate in South Lanarkshire. South Lanarkshire Health & Social Care Partnership’s (H&SCP) vision is: Working together to improve health and wellbeing in the community - with the community.

Harry Stevenson, Chief Officer of South Lanarkshire H&SCP said: “We often talk about partnership working, which can infer a variety of agencies collaborating. But people, be it care home residents or otherwise, are very much part of that partnership too.

“Simply listening to the needs of people and seeking creative solutions to meet those needs can make a huge difference. This story exemplifies that very sentiment - and echoes the spirit of integration.”