Bristol residents who attended a singalong session in a local pub are being broadcast into the living rooms of six million people around the UK during the ad breaks of Emmerdale.
Goldies, a charity that runs singalong sessions for socially isolated older people across England and Wales, launched its 200th session in The Gloucester Old Spot a few weeks before lockdown and People’s Postcode Lottery, which sponsors Emmerdale and has supported the charity, went along for the celebration.
Research from People's Postcode Lottery has found that eight out of ten people over the age of 75 who regularly feel lonely say they never tell anyone about it.
Goldies' ethos is simple – bringing people together to sing feel good songs from the past in ‘Sing&Smile’ sessions and give them something to look forward to. The organisation also supports those with dementia and additional learning needs and for many who take part in the services provided, the charity is their lifeline.
People’s Postcode Lottery ambassador Danyl Johnson spoke with Grenville Jones, who founded Goldies, via Zoom to learn more about how the charity has been continuing to support people while they’re unable to meet in person.
Grenville Jones is delighted the work of Goldies is being showcased to such a large audience.
He said: "Everyone loves a singalong and that’s what we do - it’s genuine and it’s fun and people engage with it. Folk look forward to getting out and being with their friends because the social aspect of being together is so important. Singing should be on prescription!
"We’re running online sessions every Thursday to keep people connected and they’ve really taken off. Hopefully, one day soon when we’re able to meet again, we’ll be able to support even more people because they’ll know we’re there for them.
"If Goldies wasn’t around then people would be more isolated than they currently are so that’s why we’ve got to carry on and adapt to this new world and encourage fun and smiles!
"And when we can become a family again, other than a family just on screen, then won’t that just be a wonderful thing!"
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery supported Goldies with an award of £13,000 from Postcode Community Trust.