Our Music and Arts Partner Fiona Pritchard promotes and supports music and arts activities in all our homes.
She engages directly with residents, both in participatory group sessions and in more therapeutic individual interactions. Fiona is drawing on her work with us as evidence for a Master’s degree in Dementia Studies in which she is evaluating the effects of participatory arts activities on people living with dementia.
Here we catch up with Fiona to find out a little more about her.
Career history: I graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and worked as a professional musician with several major orchestras.
I taught instrumental music in schools in conjunction with my playing career and have enjoyed further success writing music and songs for Harper Collins, Monkey Music, ITV, Channel 5 and the BBC. I began working for Colten Care in 2014 at Belmore Lodge. I moved across to the Companionship team at Kingfishers and then Linden House before taking up my new role in February 2018.
Interests: cycling, craft beer, cooking, the arts, environmental issues.
Q: Who was your first childhood hero?
A: Margot Fonteyn. I wanted to grow up and dance Swan Lake. Instead, I ended up in the pit at His Majesty’s, Aberdeen playing for the English National Ballet tour.
Q: What would be your ideal holiday?
A: I love going back to Rome but probably cycling in France.
Q: What are you superstitious about?
A: Salt. I always chuck spilt salt over my left shoulder.
Q: Who would you most like to be trapped in a lift with?
A: Billy Connolly. We could busk together, and he’d keep me smiling.
Q: Who do you most admire?
A: Kevin, my husband. Cheesy I know, but I am in awe of his brilliant musicianship and totally original humour.
Q: What car do you drive?
A: Mini Cooper.
Q: What makes you angry?
A: I don’t get really angry but lots of things irritate me, like bad parenting, bad grammar, drivers who cut corners or those who stop the flow of traffic to let people out.
Q: What is your favourite smell?
A: Indian spices. I can walk past a restaurant with a full stomach and my mouth still waters.
Q: Cats or dogs?
A: Dogs, but as a Sagittarian I’m an animal lover, full stop.
Q: What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
A: Turn all my alarms off. ??
Q: What is your earliest memory?
A: My slippers had worn out and my mum put them in the bin. I took them out again and hid them behind the
sofa. I can still picture them there. I was two.
Q: Which TV/radio programme do you try never to miss?
A: I don’t get much chance to watch TV but probably the 10 O’clock News.
Q: What is the best thing about your role?
A: Making a difference to someone’s day and reaching people who have lost their main channels of communication.
Q: …And what is the worst?
A: Not having enough hours in a day to spend time with everyone and lugging masses of resources in and out.
Q: What would be your desert island luxury?
A: Lip balm.
Q: What do you wish you were good at?
A: French and table tennis.
Q: What has been the crowning moment in your life to date?
A: Cycling 1,300 km through France and raising nearly £9,000 for Bowel Cancer UK.
Q: What is your favourite meal?
Q: What would be your dream job?
A: I feel very privileged to be in my new role which makes good use of all my skills. Colten Care being able to showcase the arts and benefits in healthcare nationwide would certainly heighten this experience.
Q: If you could bring something extinct back to life what would it be?
A: The dodo. I’d call mine Monty. He’d be so popular in the homes.