The Wednesday Wave, a national campaign to combat loneliness, got off to a cracking start on Wednesday 14 October with an official launch at Stanfield Care Home, Worcester, attended by Cllr. Jo Hodges, Mayor of Worcester.
The brainchild of Arts Council England-funded Vamos Theatre, The Wednesday Wave aims to reach care home residents and anyone who feels isolated during the current pandemic, connecting people through the simple act of waving.
For ten weeks, from 14 October until 16 December 2020, The Wednesday Wave gets the public connecting with residents in local care homes or isolated neighbours, by waving through windows from 3pm on Wednesdays.
At this week’s launch, over 100 socially-distancing people – including students and parents from Rushwick Primary School and members of Vamos Central, a drama group for young people with mild to moderate learning disabilities – joined Cllr. Jo Hodges, Mayor of Worcester, to wave with residents at Stanfield Care Home, who are unable to leave the building due to coronavirus restrictions. Like all care home residents in the UK, contact with friends and loved ones has been extremely limited since the start of lockdown in March.
As well as the local community, members of the media were in attendance to cover the launch including BBC Midlands Today, Central ITV News and BBC Hereford and Worcester Radio.
Over 80 care homes with over 2,400 residents across the UK have signed up to take part in The Wednesday Wave. Belfast, Nottingham, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Essex, Birmingham, Solihull, Somerset and Hertfordshire are just some of the locations. These include: Runwood Care Homes UK; Eastern County Care; Royal British Legion; Mowbray Nursing Home, Malvern; Arden House, Kidderminster and Stanfield Nursing Homes, Rushwick with more expected to join over the coming weeks.
Cllr Jo Hodges, Mayor of Worcester commented:
“COVID has been challenging for all of us – but none more so than people living in care homes. They and their families need all the support we can give at this time. Waving is a gesture of warmth and support which is universal. Vamos Theatre has come up with a fantastic initiative and I’m very proud to support it.”
Rachael Savage, Artistic Director of Vamos Theatre added,
“What a great atmosphere at the launch today! We’re so happy that we could be joined at The Wednesday Wave launch by the Mayor of Worcester, students from Rushwick Primary, and so many people who came to make a real difference, and to give this campaign the lively launch it so deserves. Staff and residents at Stanfield CH have been brilliant in supporting The Wednesday Wave and taking part with such joy and enthusiasm.”
The Wednesday Wave continues every Wednesday from 3pm, finishing on 16 December 2020. Anyone who’d like to take part can look from their window from 3pm on Wednesdays, or head out on a walk to wave. There is also a poster available to display (download from www.vamostheatre.co.uk/TWWposter), for care homes and others who would like to display one – being careful not to advertise that people are living alone. Everyone is encouraged to draw a picture of their hand and put in the window, as a pledge to wave from either side of the glass.
BBC HEREFORD AND WORCESTER RADIO (1 hour 42 secs in)
Teaser trailer: www.vamostheatre.co.uk/TWWtrailer