“We are Hayley and Gerry, married 20 years ago and living in South London, UK. We never really sung before we got married. But shortly after getting married, we went to karaoke bars together, and someone asked us, “How much do you charge to sing at weddings?” We were quite surprised, and yet happy with the fact that people would be happy to pay us to sing. From there on we did not look back. We started singing at weddings, pubs, parties, care homes, and everywhere really. People have always enjoyed our singing, and that makes us super happy.
With the pandemic and lockdown enforced across the country, the work has completely dried up. We were missing singing. During the lockdown, all of us in the UK had started ‘Clap for Carers’ every Thursday since March, where people came outside their homes to clap and cheer for our frontlines and essential workers. First two weeks there were a smaller number of people coming out on our street. We thought we could use this opportunity to get people to participate more. So, we took our mic and the system out and started to sing in our street from the third Thursday Clap for Carers. So far, we have done this for seven weeks and have really enjoyed every minute of it.
Usually, after singing outside on the street, we go live on Facebook from our kitchen and sing for all our social media followers. They all have been enjoying this so much. We have received great compliments from people, telling us how much they love their Thursday evenings because we bring so much happiness and positivity straight into their homes. Just the other week, we started accepting song requests on Facebook and everyone wanted us to sing 80s song. So, for 2 hours we did an 80s-themed gig on Facebook.
We have been living in this neighborhood for about 20 years and never really met every neighbor. This phase has given us the opportunity to meet and know more about our neighbors, with the social distancing of course! There is an old lady who lives a couple of doors down the street. I think she is nearly 100. The other day she was sitting in her front lawn, and we happen to be outside too. We just started to chat, and she told us how her kids are helping her with groceries but they did not get her a can of beans. Well, that was a great conversation starter. We had beans at home so I quickly went in to get a can for her. We asked her whether she was coming out every Thursday to clap, and she said that she has been clapping from inside her home all by herself because she was too shy. On requesting she agreed to come out the following Thursday. While we were performing our gig outside, we could see her clapping and waving at our songs. That was really a good moment. We felt that we have genuinely brought a smile to her face.
We would just like to add that this phase has made us realize our privileges. We never saw little things as privileges until now. For example, we never thought that having a garden at our home is a big thing, but now when we look at many people who were stuck within a small apartment or a small room. We feel that we are so much blessed. We need to continue to take these learnings forward even after the pandemic."
You Humanity pays respect and gratitude to Hayley and Gerry for going above and beyond to contribute towards Humanity.
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