Pupils from Riverbrae School helped residents get into the Christmas spirit when they performed a special concert at Mosswood Care Home.

Seventeen pupils from the Riverbrae School choir performed a number of songs for residents of the care home in Linwood, including White Christmas, Twelve Days of Christmas and a Makaton signed version of You’ve Got a Friend in Me.

It’s the first time the choir of 11 to 14-year-olds has performed at the care home, but the school now hopes to make it an annual event.

Lorraine McDermott, principal teacher at Riverbrae School, said: “Our young people were very excited to perform for the residents of Mosswood Care Home.

“Events like this help foster important links in our community and give our pupils the chance to have positive experiences and make new friendships.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them and gave them a place where they could showcase their talents.

“We are very proud of them. It was a fantastic performance.”

Pupils from the school have previously taken part in work experience at the care home, with some children recently visiting to attend a Halloween party, sensory sessions and making Christmas cards with residents.

The choir formed in 2022 as part of the delivery of Nordoff and Robbins Music Therapy at Riverbrae, and performed its first show for the public at the opening ceremony of a local educational conference last year.

Craig, a pupil and founding member in the choir, said: “Choir makes me feel happy. I like it because singing is fun. You get to use your voice! It opens up new opportunities for people who want to sing but don’t know how to.”

The choir, which rehearses weekly, includes pupils who are unable to sing and instead use Makaton signing and play instruments for the group.

It has also sparked new interests in pupils, with some members writing songs, learning piano and getting involved in production aspects of the shows after joining the choir.

Stella Hadjineophytou, the choir’s leader and Facilitative Music Therapist at Nordoff and Robbins, said: “The choir loves to meet new people and sing and I love bringing them out of school to perform in a community space.

“Many of the pupils at Riverbrae experience social marginalisation due to their learning support needs, but, when they lead people in song, we see that they are creative, expressive, compassionate individuals who have an enormous impact on others. It is always so exciting to see them learn, grow and become more confident at these events.”

Chiara Pacitti, Activity Co-ordinator at Mosswood Care Home, said: “The residents loved the performance.

“We call the link between Riverbrae and Mosswood ‘Adopt a Friend’. The children and residents have created a special bond and the children have been here for a Halloween party, crafts, sports day and work experience.

“Fostering intergenerational, meaningful connections is so important for our residents and children at Riverbrae. It helps break down barriers, fosters a sense of community and creates an environment where everyone thrives.”

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