Joan brings music's gift to Blue Care

MUSIC FLOWS: Joan Cross bought an electric piano for the Blue Care Ipswich respite centre.
MUSIC FLOWS: Joan Cross bought an electric piano for the Blue Care Ipswich respite centre. Claudia Baxter

CATCHING up with old friends for a bit of a sing-along is one of the keys to happiness for clients at the Blue Care respite centre in Ipswich.

Joan Cross still remembers the joy that her late husband Eric used to get out of his regular Blue Care get-togethers, even though he suffered greatly as a result of vascular dementia.

After Eric passed away aged 91, Mrs Cross decided that she should do something to repay the service that the respite centre and it staff provided her.

Knowing the centre needed a new piano, Mrs Cross went out and purchased a smart new electric Yamaha Clavinova, which was donated and christened with a few familiar tunes yesterday.

"If not for Blue Care we would have had to put Eric in full-time care," Mrs Cross said.

"The fact that we could bring him here meant everyone was happy, including Eric himself.

"This was another home for him and he especially loved the music times.

"The new piano was just my way of saying thank you."

As Eric's primary carer, Mrs Cross - who is both legally blind and suffering MS - said Blue Care provided a vital service to people who were left to look after loved ones with serious illness.

She now attends the service's regular restaurant gatherings.

Service manager Michelle Grillett said the donation

meant a lot to the 100 clients that relied on Blue Care's respite centre.

"A lot of our clients suffer dementia, but they never forget the songs and the words, and what that music means to them," she said.

"This gesture is very kind and it is a unique piano, which will be fantastic for clients, staff and volunteers to use for sing-along and during concerts at the centre," she said.



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