Hospice patients have been awarded thousands of pounds to professionally record a song to perform as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Northfleet-based ellenor has been handed £6,200 from the Arts Council’s Let’s Create Jubilee Fund in conjunction with Kent Community Foundation to deliver the tune for Her Majesty.
ellenor patients based at Gravesend practice the song they are recording for the Queen
ellenor, which looks after looks after adults and children across Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley, will use the grant to work in collaboration with music charity Live Music Now to help patients write, compose and create a celebratory song.
Patients will perform the final composition with the support of musicians at ellenor’s Jubilee garden party on June 1.
The song will also be professionally recorded and the hospice will create a video to accompany the music.
Andrew Lowden, operational wellbeing lead at ellenor said inspiration for the track will be found in the example set by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Speaking during a practice session, he said: “Having worked closely with some of the talented musicians at Live Music Now this year, we are looking forward to coming together to create this song.
"The Queen has been such an inspiration for so many of us and given her passion for music it feels fitting that we should acknowledge her in this way.
"It is also an opportunity to show that hospices are vibrant, energetic and fun places to spend time, breaking some of the stigma that surrounds them, whilst giving our patients a unique opportunity to be part of something special.”
Direction for the composition is being provided by experienced musicians who will work with patients on the song over the next month.
Clinical research shows that engaging with live music provides significant benefits to people’s health and wellbeing.
Live Music Now works alongside hospices, care homes and day centres to co-create programmes bringing live sound back into peoples’ lives, through concerts and residencies with trained musicians.
Last week musicians Elliott Morris, 32, and Henry Webster, 30, lent their talents to the track alongside ellenor patients at the hospice in Coldharbour Road.
Over the last two weeks they've already put together lyrics, a melody and even penned a chorus.
Elliott said: "It is amazing we have really felt the energy from people. Since the first day everyone has taken to it."
The final song will not only allow ellenor to look back at this event in years to come, but also produce a lasting memory for families of those patients involved.
Patients Lynn Austin, 54, from Hartley, and Pat Reedman, 73, from Dartford have both been enjoying the sessions so far.
Lynn said: "I didn't realise that is how you wrote a song. They came in and just like that with the words we have created a song.
"It is good fun and we look forward to it. It is awareness for ellenor as well and what we get up to."
Forty-four community foundations have been awarding grants across the country.
The Let’s Create Jubilee Fund has been created to ensure that thousands of people from communities all across England will have the opportunity to take part in exciting creative events – all in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee.
From puppetry and story creation, through to making crowns, carnival and art trails, there will be a huge range of exciting activities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in.
Ahead of the celebrations ellenor hospice has been selected as one of a few organisations to be included in The Official Platinum Jubilee Pageant Commemorative Album.
The book – the only official jubilee publication – charts the trials and triumphs of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
It highlights the work of a select number of individuals and organisations from across the country and the Commonwealth.
Ellenor has been included after being approached by the publishers, St James’s House.
Vikki Harding, ellenor’s former CEO was interviewed and her full page interview titled will sit in the health and wellbeing chapter of the commemorative album.
There are other chapters on the military, education, fashion and leisure.
Vikki Harding will be attending the private gala book launch at Claridge’s on June 5, with Linda Coffey, ellenor’s director of care.
ellenor spokeswoman Basia Wilson said: “Our hospice and our team of healthcare professionals has grown since it was founded in 1985 and has evolved to meet the changing needs of the community and for ellenor to be showcased in such a prestigious publication is a great honour and something we are proud of.”