AN inter-generational choir of school children and residents of a nursing home have just scooped a gong for its creator at this year’s Nursing Homes Ireland Care Awards.
Musician and singer Clara Hutchinson beat hundreds of other contestants to bring home the award for the choir she established in SignaCare Nursing Home, Killerig and fourth-class pupils from Grange National School. She was thrilled when TV presenter Marty Whelan announced her as one of the winners at a gala ceremony in City West Hotel, Dublin on Thursday night.
“I’m delighted. The residents are thrilled, too, and I’m going to see the children with the award later on today,” Clara told The Nationalist yesterday, Monday.
“The choir is so good for both the residents and the children. The children get so excited about coming over. You can see how their empathy and sense of community are developing, while the residents love meeting the children every week.”
Clara was accompanied to the awards ceremony by her musician husband Fiach Moriarty, members of the management and staff at SignaCare, Killerig as well as principal of Grange NS Leah Mulhall and teacher Eithne Molloy.
“As owner of the centre, it was a very proud night for us. It
highlights and rewards our ongoing focus on social and community connections to have our residents live well and how they choose,” said Margaret Ann Walsh from SignaCare, Killerig.
“And we are so thankful to Grange National School’s wonderful teachers and pupils, who are central to our community choir.”
Clara only just started working in the nursing home within the last year, but one of the first tasks she achieved was establishing links between the residents and the youngsters in the school.
Having obtained an MA in music therapy from the University of Limerick, Clara believes in the power of music to bring people together. She’s been teaching and lecturing in the use of music in healthcare for years. Clara is currently developing a performance space within the nursing home for community events, while she’s also busy preparing for her role in Cinderella, Striking Productions’ Christmas panto.