Leeds dad spreads Christmas cheer to vulnerable elderly in Yorkshire care homes everyday in December with sing-along

A father-of-two has been spreading Christmas cheer to vulnerable elderly people - by holding sing-alongs every day in December outside care home windows.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 4:45 pm
Shane Hamill, father-of-two, sings to vulnerable care home residents (photo: SWNS)

Shane Hamill, aged 49, has even climbed ladders to sing outside first floor windows to deliver festive cheer to residents who are shielding.

Care home residents have been beaming with joy as Leeds children's TV producer Shane belts out Christmas tunes dressed in a Santa hat.

He has been visiting care homes across Yorkshire in the run up to Christmas Day after fearing elderly people would not be able to receive visitors.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Shane and nephew Ryan Banks who has not left his sheltered accommodation since March (photo: SWNS)

People have even sent requests for Shane to visit elderly relatives and sing outside their accommodation as a Christmas gift.

Shane said: "I don't like to see people lonely and unhappy. I wanted to make people happy if I could.

"We've had such a terrible year, I wanted to focus on joy and spreading cheer to people who might need it at this time of year.

"I hated the thought of people being on their own, so many grandparents who won't be able to see their families.

Shane dresses in festive clothing such as Christmas-themed t-shirts and antler hats while singing and dancing (photo: SWNS)

"My dad passed away in March when all this was kicking off so it breaks my heart to know that people who have got a mum and dad will be without them this Christmas.

"Some people in care homes won't have seen their children or grandchildren since February.

"I wanted to make sure that I could get to as many people as possible who might need some cheering up.”

Shane, who also coaches a girl's football team, contacted care homes for permission to perform and said staff were grateful for his services.

Due to Covid regulations, many residents cannot mix between bubbles within the homes, so Shane had to take to performing on a ladder so everyone could join in.

He added: "The residents just loved it, everywhere I've been, the smiles on their faces have been incredible.

"A lot of residents are separated in their own bubble and they can't mix, so in some care homes people on the first floor couldn't come downstairs to watch me sing.

"So I got a ladder and sang outside the first floor window. It's been amazing.

"It's been like a Christmas party everywhere, the residents gather in the common room and they join in singing. They've really loved it, it's been great to see them so happy."

Shane also visited his nephew Ryan Banks, who has Down's Syndrome and has not left his sheltered accommodation in Rochdale since March, to surprise him with a singalong.

The pair sang festive favourites such as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Jingle Bells" with Ryan dressed as an elf.

Shane added: "I made it my mission to travel wherever was necessary to spread joy as far and wide as possible.

"I've been to care homes in Barnsley, Rotherham, I've even been over to Rochdale to sing for Ryan.

"As a human being, he is one of the funniest, kindest people you'll ever meet.

"It was the first time I had met up with him in almost a year. He hasn't been able to go out since March and hasn't seen any of his family really.

"It's people like him who I really want to reach with this.

"One lady messaged me to ask if I could sing at her elderly mother's care home and wish her a happy Christmas as she hadn't seen her since April.

"Another care home asked if I could sing outside because they have a resident who was a great singer and really wanted to do a duet with me.

"It's just lovely how people have reacted to this. I want joy to be the thing we are spreading next year, not a virus."

He has also set up a Facebook page where he live streams a video of him singing and dancing every day at 5pm.

The page, called Joy Only One You, sees Shane share messages of kindness and encourage people to simply jump around for a few minutes.

During his videos, he dresses in festive clothing such as Christmas-themed t-shirts and antler hats while singing and dancing.

He added: "I set up the page on December 1, every week day at 5pm I go live and I just get people jumping around for ten minutes.

"Just jumping is as good as any exercise for your endorphins and getting your heart rate going.

"There are restrictions on where we can go, but there's no restrictions on being kind to each other.

"People can join in at home and get some good exercise without leaving the house."