Singing for the Brain (SFTB), a choir established by Alzheimer’s Society for people in the early stages of dementia, has recorded a carol which will be broadcast on Christmas Day as part of a radio programme featuring my top ten favourite seasonal songs.
The Royal Oldham Hospital radio station, Radio Cavell, invited me to select my favourite Christmas songs and record an interview looking back at my year in Parliament for their Christmas Day special that will be broadcast after the Queen’s speech at 15:10pm, locally on any radio on 1350AM or the hospital’s Hospedia entertainment channel 5.
Hazel Przewoznik, SFTB group facilitator, explained how the recording came about saying: “We were approached because Debbie had told Radio Cavell that O come all ye faithful was her mum’s favourite Christmas carol and holds very special memories for her. The fact that Debbie’s mum passed away as a result of having Alzheimer’s made it really poignant for us too, so we were delighted to make the recording and be part of the programme.”
The interview is co-presented by Radio Cavell stalwarts Derek Harding and Phil Edmonds. Derek said: “We’re delighted that Debbie will feature in our big show on Christmas Day. She tells us why each of the ten pieces of Christmas music are important to her and also gives listeners an insight into what she’s been up to during 2015 and what goes on behind the scenes in Parliament.
“There will be many people in hospital on Christmas Day, or at home on their own, so it’s great that we’ve managed to put together such a great show to help keep them entertained and, perhaps, give them a little company too. We asked our listeners to come up with some questions for Debbie and they really appreciated the chance to put questions to an MP about what they get up to and what life’s like in Parliament.”
Phil added: “This year’s been a big year for Debbie, what with the elections and, of course, losing her close friend and colleague Micheal Meacher. So to hear all about it face to face was a real thrill for us.”
I made creating a dementia friendly Oldham one of my top priorities and I am the only MP to have accessed training from Alzheimer’s Society to be a Dementia Champion. I’m so touched that the Singing for the Brain choir and the Alzheimer’s Society have made such an effort to make this special recording for me. Every time I hear O come all ye faithful it reminds me of my dear Mum, Angela, and she would have been so happy to hear them sing this carol too.