Nicole’s concerts a hit with residents

In 2020 when Victoria was in the depths of its long lockdown, OC Connections Disability Support Worker Nicole decided it was a perfect time to revisit her love of music and offered to play to her key participant Carolyn.

Eager to share her passion for beautiful music with Carolyn’s housemates too, Nicole began holding regular mini-concerts for the household.

Nicole has continued these concerts during Victoria’s sixth lockdown, supporting residents to focus on something different and of interest and to help take their minds off the lockdown.

Nicole plays the ukele, cello and guitar and leaves it to Carolyn to choose the instrument for each concert. She involves the other residents by encouraging them to sing along. One of the residents, Greg has enjoyed being the opening act and housemate Erica usually leads the dancing, with her jovial moves and a big smile. 

Rob Easy, Team Leader, Community Living said “It has been so much fun for the participants. They are always very excited about Nicole arriving at work with her instruments.”

At the most recent concert, Greg sang along to a KISS and ABBA song, followed by Carolyn performing a song from ‘The Music Man’ then Vlada wrapped up the concert with a routine to the song ‘YMCA’.

Nicole says that “Greg loves to pop on a wig or fedora hat when performing in front of his housemates and staff. He even showed some impressive dance moves to go along with his vocals. At the end of each song, he would enthusiastically throw his wig or hat to the crowd in a ‘grand finale’ type gesture.”

This is a great example of how important it is for support staff to understand a participant’s interests and support needs to provide activities that are person-centred that they will enjoy and thrive from.

Nicole saw the opportunity to indulge Carolyn’s love of music and her housemates’ love of performing to ensure their time in lockdown has created fond memories in what could potentially be a stressful time.

Thank you Nicole for making memories with our residents – a great activity to do in lockdown.

Perhaps once restrictions are eased, residents and staff might be able to plan a concert in the park and let others join in the fun!