Music Themed Therapy Packs for Peter Gillam Patients

August 2020

Since the beginning of lockdown, our Peter Gillam Support Centre has had to come up with different ways to care for our day patients. Remote therapies have become an invaluable way to connect with and care for people.

Therapy packs are sent out regularly with different themes.

This month patients will receive a CD recorded by Andrew Spence who would normally come in regularly to the hospice to play, the CD's are being delivered to patients by our wonderful team of volunteer drivers, David, Jane, Sharon and Twiggy.

Andrew has been playing regularly as a volunteer musician for the Salisbury Hospice - Peter Gillam unit since 2016, up until Covid 19 restrictions were introduced. He also has played for the volunteers at their annual award event, as well as at Christmas time. He plays a variety of music on Spanish guitar and this can range from "Over the Rainbow" and other Eric Clapton pieces, to authentic Flamenco that he learned while living in Spain.

He has played professionally at events in Europe and even as far away as Japan - but he is always most at home playing in the Peter Gillam unit. "Elaine, Helen and the team have always welcomed me and have been amazing, organizing everything for me to come and play". And he told us recently that it is always very special playing there, and that something magic seems to happen each time he plays to residents and staff.

"I remember last Christmas I played a version of "Yesterday" by the Beatles. I was talking about the film of the same name, that had just been released. I had hardly played for long, when suddenly everyone in the room started singing the words - residents, carers, relatives, staff, and members of the clergy who were there. It was beautiful - and one of the most moving moments of my life".

Andrew has recently recorded a CD of 14 pieces, including "Cavatina" (Deerhunter theme), "Adagio" (Rodrigo) and a number of Flamenco and other pieces written by him. One is called "King Henry's Feast" which he wrote at Christmas time for his friend John Lorford, who stayed at the Peter Gillam and it is dedicated to his memory. Some pieces on the CD are for 2 guitars and a couple feature percussion.

During these times of Covid 19, sadly he has not been able to play at Peter Gillam, and so he made this CD for the Hospice so that residents and those at home can still listen to his music if they wish, whenever they like. The CD is also for sale with all proceeds going to the Hospice.

You can find out more about the Peter Gillam Support Centre here.

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