I have recorded a special Christmas interview for Radio Cavell – Royal Oldham Hospital’s 24 hour information and entertainment service – in which I chose my favourite seasonal music and looks back over 2016.
The interview, which will be broadcast on Christmas Day at 1pm and 8pm on the hospital’s channel 5 or on any radio on 1350AM, includes the following message from me to patients and staff:
“I want to wish you all a very happy Christmas. And thank you to all the doctors and nurses, and everyone else working in the hospital, for all that you do. I know it’s not easy, so thank you!”
The interview also features a carol specially recorded for the programme by the Singing for the Brain choir which is a group activity for people in the early to moderate stages of dementia, and their carers, who meet every Wednesday at the Oldham Music Centre between 1.30-3pm.
I made creating a dementia friendly Oldham one of my top priorities and I requested the choir sing O Come All Ye Faithful for a personal reason because it was my mum’s favourite and unfortunately she had Alzheimer’s disease and died a few years ago.
Singing is a real therapy for people with dementia and is such an enjoyable activity for all of us. I know I enjoyed singing with Mum and I’m sure that people with dementia and their carers will enjoy it as well. I’d encourage anyone who enjoys a little sing-song, and would like the company and support provided by the group, to go along and join in.
The interview is co-presented by Radio Cavell stalwarts Derek Harding and Phil Edmonds. Derek said: “We’re delighted that Debbie is featuring for the fourth year in a row in our Christmas Day special. The interview is an interesting insight into what the Christmas music means to her and also gives listeners more details about what she’s been up to during 2016 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 a 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 life’s like in Parliament.”