Mrs Parker strikes the right note - to touch heartstrings across the globe
Published: Wednesday, 15 July 2020
Mrs Rebecca Parker has embarked on a 100-day piano marathon for charity
One of the oldest residents of a Lanarkshire care home is nearing the end of an astonishing feat of musical endurance – which has touched heartstrings around the world.
Despite living with arthritis, 98-years-young Mrs Rebecca Parker has embarked on a 100-day piano marathon for charity – to keep spirits of staff and fellow residents high in the face of lockdown restrictions.
Every morning since April, the nimble-fingered nonagenarian, originally from Skye, has played Scottish music on the Baby Grand piano of McClymont House, run by South Lanarkshire Council, in Lanark. The melodies can be heard throughout the home – providing a harmony of comfort for others.
Footage of the retired teacher playing Loch Lomond has reached almost 60,000 people online, including a global audience of well-wishers from afar as India, Abu Dhabi and Australia.
Mrs Parker, who raised her family in nearby Carluke after completing teacher training in Edinburgh in the 1940s, has generated almost £5500 for NHS Lanarkshire endowment fund on her JustGiving page.
Speaking on National Care home day, two days out of completing her challenge, Mrs Parker explained how the response has steeled her resolve.
“I would like to offer a note of thanks to each and every one of my lovely followers, on JustGiving, social media and, of course, the staff and fellow residents of McClymont House. I’ve been overwhelmed to be able raise such a generous amount of money. It’s been incredible.”
Previously, Mrs Parker explained how her twinkle-keyed tour de force has roots in a lifelong passion.
“My mother, Isabella MacLennan, was an accomplished pianist and that’s who really inspired all of this.
“Ultimately she had to give it up because of the demands of family life but I have vivid memories of her playing from early childhood.
“My two brothers and I would lie in beds in our home, in Broadford, Skye, and listen to her in the evenings when we were meant to be sleeping.
“It was such a source of comfort and warmth.”
Mrs Parker added: “I was captivated when I was growing up and my mother taught me how to play. Today, I hope the music can have the same comforting effect on my friends here.”
Val de Souza, Chief Officer, South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “Despite the ongoing challenges Covid-19 presents, Mrs Parker’s piano challenge represents the vibrancy, hope and community-spirit that prevails in our care homes. Mrs Parker’s stoicism and kindness is a source of inspiration for us all.”
Heather Knox, interim Chief Executive of NHS Lanarkshire said: “Mrs Parker has not only raised a substantial sum of money for NHS Lanarkshire endowment fund – which we are very grateful for – but many smiles in her care home and, indeed, across the globe. Her thoughtfulness has been the personification of community spirit.”
- Mrs Parker’s JustGiving page can be found here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rebecca-parker98
- Footage of Mrs Parker playing 100 Pipers to mark National Care Home day can be found here: https://vimeo.com/438494129