We talked to Viv, Manager at Ballards Ash about the Ballards Ash Singers – one of the winners of Choice Got Talent 2023!
Viv - tell us how you came about the idea to enter the competition? Was the singing group already in place or put together especially?
I wanted to show everyone how great the home is and how strong the team is - so I thought ‘why not enter Choice Got Talent, make it fun and enjoy a day out?’ We love singing and playing music in our home, all day every day - so it seemed a great idea to have the team and all the residents involved. We have a home that is mostly non- verbal, so we had to be creative to get people involved, from using props and having people dance, but I feel they had a great time.
Can you tell us about how you practiced and chose the song (Sweet Caroline)?
Choosing the song was easy as it seems to be a household favourite. So we played it more and had people involved, we learnt the words, and added dance moves.
The idea to all wear the same colour shirts came from one of the people we support, as red is her favourite colour - so we all wore red!
Can you tell us a bit about the auditions?
We had so much fun during the auditions, I think we completely forgot that people were watching, plus we didn’t think we would get through to the finals, so that was very exciting.
Can you tell us a bit about the day itself - you were first on!
Being first on was so nerve wracking! I think backstage we were all a little nervous and when we got on stage it was so bright and seemed scary. For the staff, we knew the reason we wanted to do this, and we let our nerves fade and made it a wonderful experience for our residents. It was a fantastic way to open up the show, and meant we got to sit and relax and enjoy all the wonderful acts that followed.
Thanks Viv – let’s hear from a few of your colleagues:
Charlotte, a Social Care Worker at Ballard’s Ash, said: ‘It melted my heart, to see my resident and team get up on stage and have the best time singing their hearts out to one of our favourite songs in the Ballard’s household. It was amazing to see some of our residents come out of their comfort zone and some achieving their goals of entertaining people.’
Claudia, a DOM at Ballard’s Ash said: ‘Despite being new to the team and not having direct contact with the residents, I would like to say that it was a gorgeous day for me. I had a lot of emotions in my heart and my mind, I’m so glad to have an opportunity to work at Ballards Ash, what a wonderful team!’
Jobie, Deputy Manager at Ballard’s Ash said: ‘ I have worked for Choice for many years, and have watched CGT over the years, but this year was so special. Not just the winning, which of course was amazing, but the togetherness of the team and the residents, the practising of the song, ready for the first audition and then the final, to co-ordinating our outfits, the smiles on the residents faces and the involvement of the audience in our performance. It was amazing and I am so proud to be part of the Ballard’s Ash family.’