'A welcome return' as Hartlepool care complex enjoys first live entertainment since Covid-19
Residents of a sheltered accommodation scheme in Hartlepool enjoyed their first live entertainment in nearly two years when they welcomed a popular town band.
People at Bamburgh Court extra care housing complex were thoroughly entertained by the show by Phoenix Variety Showgroup who perform regularly in homes and at events to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
It was residents’ first live entertainment for 23 months due to refurbishment followed by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
The show was a great success and raised £200 for Hartlepool RNLI.
Bamburgh Court resident Carol Pounder, who was one of the event organisers, said: “It was an absolutely brilliant night.
"Everybody was desperate for some social activities. We hadn’t had anything for such a long time.
“We were getting refurbished then Covid hit and it was total lockdown.
"Everyone was isolated so it has been a welcome return to getting back to some kind of normality.”
Residents typically hold social events every four to six weeks to help them raise funds for their Christmas and Easter parties.
Around 60 residents gathered in Bamburgh Court’s communal room to enjoy two 40-minute sets by Phoenix on Wednesday night.
They performed a selection of popular hits mainly from the Sixties and Seventies.
Derrick Rowbotham, from the group, said: “At the moment any audience need a lift and the best way to do that is to perform nostalgic songs.
“It was a great night. They were a very appreciative audience and we did our best to help them on the night.”
The money for charity was raised from the group’s fee from ticket sales and also a raffle to win a prize hamper given by Morrison’s supermarket.
Phoenix’s line up also included Shirley Rowbotham, Brian and Linda Edmenson, Josephine Bonner and Olwyn Ward.
New member Stephen Picton was sadly unable to perform after being forced to pull out due to a heavy cold.
Olwyn has already presented a cheque for £200 to Hartlepool lifeboat station.
Derrick added: “We support the lifeboats and Hartlepool hospice as much as we can.”
The group has a number of local shows coming up as things start to return to normal after the numerous lockdowns.