Brother And Sister Stream Concerts To Entertain Care Homes Residents

Streetly Advertising Magazine
Priya and Arun

Walsall siblings Arun and Priya Saini have spent the spring and summer entertaining elderly and vulnerable people living in care homes by staging online concerts.

The duo, from Streetly, have picked up their violins and streamed dozens of recitals to keep care home residents entertained while they were in lockdown, unable to receive visits from their own family and friends.

The idea came after their mother Jyoti, a clinical pharmacist, had to visit homes as part of swabbing teams at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everyone was in full PPE, which is disconcerting for residents when they can’t see anyone’s faces,” she said. “When I suggested playing for them online, the children were keen to do it and I contacted care homes to see if they were interested.”

The duo – Arun, aged 13, a student at Hydesville Tower School, and 10-year-old Priya, who attends Mayfield School – have played short concerts on Zoom, Skype and Whatsapp to residents as far away as Sunderland.

“Residents have been isolated for so long that we felt it was really important to do something to lift their spirits,” said Jyoti. “It’s not only ensured the children do their violin practise, but also helped elderly people enjoy something a little different, as well as support the hard working carers who look after them whilst sometimes being away from their families.”

They are also raising money for The Care Workers’ Charity and have already raised £645. To help them raise more, visit

The Dads In Charge Of Lockdown Lessons

Walsall Community
Rob, Isabel & Toby Pearson Get To Grips With A Construction Project

Philosopher George Santayana once remarked that ‘a child only educated in school is an uneducated child.’

With lockdown removing most children from the classrooms, home schooling has been the ‘new normal’ for many.

“Opportunities to learn surround us in everything we do – it doesn’t just happen in school,” explained Head Teacher Helen Wright.

“Give a child your time and attention and they will learn and remember more than they will ever in the classroom.”

Parents across the country have risen to the challenge and we catch up with a couple of local dads in charge of lockdown lessons.

Rob Pearson swapped his day-to-day job as a building maintenance systems engineer for teacher when schools closed down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
His daughter Isabel, who attends Park Hall Infants Academy, enjoyed daily lessons from dad, while his school teacher wife Cassie continued her day job.

As well as the 3 Rs, Rob and Isabel enjoyed regular nature lessons – signing up for a five-week bird-watching survey with the British Ornithological Trust (BTO) and planting flowers and tracking them as they grew.

There was also plenty of play-style learning to help keep Isabel’s three-year-old brother Toby occupied, too.

The pièce de resistance for Rob was the science lessons – making different paper aeroplanes and measuring how far they fly, and building a wind turbine out of tin cans.

“I’ve been wanting to make one for a couple of years and as we had the chance to do it, we made it one of our projects,” said Rob, who was placed on furlough in April.

“Isabel helped where she could, with the gluing, looking at the instructions, and holding the pole in place, but I did the cutting and twisting the blades because the edges were sharp. It’s still in the garden now and looks great. I’ve enjoyed doing it for the past few weeks.”

It was DIY and science that Stuart Webb’s children enjoyed when he supervised their lockdown lessons.

The Aldridge dad of two, who works as a service manager for Walsall Council’s leisure services department, worked throughout the lockdown period, but was able to do the lessons when he took annual leave.

Martha, aged eight and in year four at Cooper & Jordan School, and her brother Henry, who is 11 and in year six at the school, have spent most of their time being supervised by their mother Kelly, who works at Bloxwich Leisure Centre as swimming instructor and receptionist.

But Stuart, who admitted he felt guilty about not being able to dedicate the same time to doing lessons with his children because of working, he ensured he did his bit on his days off.

His favourite project? A challenge from the school to create something from marbles – with his children, they collected old timber from the garage and other bits and bobs to make a pinball machine, which worked brilliantly, he said.

“We came up with the idea and they both did the sawing, drilling and hammering to make it – the kids absolutely loved it,” he said.
In fact, Martha enjoyed woodwork so much she enlisted Stuart to help her make a birdhouse from offcuts of wood.

Stuart also enjoyed a wind power science experiment that the children were asked to do at home, with cardboard, string and a hairdryer.

“We’ve also been on plenty of walks and bike rides, while Henry has been able to practise some cricket as the nets opened at Aldridge Cricket Club,” he added.

Eco-Friendly Practices To Incorporate At Home

Advertise Great BarrWhilst the coronavirus lock-down continues many of us are doing home improvements.

With climate change and plastic waste impacting our everyday lives, there has never been a more important time than now to adopt eco-friendly practices at home. Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at, shares 4 ways to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

  1. Repurpose old furniture

Defined as a process by which used objects are transformed into new products of higher value, upcycling is a sustainable way to kickstart an eco-friendly lifestyle. It breathes new life into old furniture and is a cost-effective and crafty solution to update home decor. “Upcycling conserves the environment by fully utilising what we already have,” Rebecca explains. “It prevents furniture from being thrown into landfills and is instead updated with a new look.”

“The key is to start small by picking a simple DIY project such as repainting your headboard in the bedroom. It’s an enjoyable activity that you can do in your own time and saves you the money of having to buy new furniture. With its tranquil and lively appeal, opt for green as it perks up the rest of the decor by injecting a soothing feel to the space.”

  1. Switch to non-toxic paint

Making the switch to eco-friendly products has a huge impact on the planet, home and overall health. It’s these small steps that help reduce harm on the environment and pushes people to lead a healthier lifestyle in the long-run. Take this concept to the walls with non-toxic paint which is free from volatile organic compounds (VOC) and removes chemicals such as formaldehyde in the air for a clean breathing space at home.

“Bring the positive qualities of non-toxic paint and the psychological benefits of colours together with a feature wall in the home office,” Rebecca says. “Hobby Wood by Earthborn is a good pick as it exudes relaxation while providing that optimistic boost.”

  1. Incorporate plants into decor

Going green at home literally and metaphorically would not be complete without including houseplants into the decor. Apart from purifying the air, houseplants also create a more welcoming atmosphere. And with proper attention and care, indoor plants will flourish in the right environment and provide plenty of room for experimentation.

Starting an indoor garden in the kitchen is a sustainable solution for urban living. “Being self-sufficient is an important part of an eco-friendly lifestyle,” Rebecca explains. “Learn to grow your own herbs, fruits or vegetables at home which can later be used for cooking. Or if you’re interested in building a green display, a staghorn fern mounting wall appeals to those who favour a raw and natural aesthetic with its warm wood tones. Aside from green plants, you can also channel a rustic, natural vibe by incorporating dried flowers as part of the decor. ”

  1. Use natural materials

Bringing the outdoors in has become an increasingly popular way to infuse nature into the home. Known as biophilia, it’s a concept that combines a love of nature with innovative design to improve health and wellbeing.

“The calming elements of nature are a welcome respite to the senses in the chaotic world we live in,” Rebecca says. “Decorating with natural materials such as wood, cotton and linen establishes a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere when you combine it with the right amount of natural lighting, greenery and colour palette. In the living room, turn your focus towards breathable materials which give the space a cosy and practical touch, such as with a linen sofa and cotton cushion covers. The ambience here is not just for the aesthetics, it’s also about delivering a positive impact on our lifestyle.”

Some of Rebecca’s Suggestions:

Rio White Washed Wooden Single Bed – £129.99

Grange Oak with 4 Pendle Oak Chairs – £649.99  Pendle Painted Black Dining Chair – £59.99 each

Cassie Charcoal Fabric L Shape Corner Sofa – £899.99

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