Four â€œcalling birdâ€ carers from a North Devon Barchester care centre could be celebrating the coveted Christmas number one this year if their single, â€˜Wherever you are,â€™ released as part of the Military Wivesâ€™ Choir, continues to outflank the X Factor effort.
The four choir members that work at the Tyspane care centre in Braunton are: Sarah Wall, Hayley Flood, Carly Pearce and Kirsty Cunningham. They all have husbands based at Chivenor Royal Marine Base and joined the choir to raise awareness of the courage of British service men and women deployed in dangerous war zones.
Sarah Wall, one of the four carers, said: â€œNever in a million years did I think weâ€™d be in the running for a Christmas number one. Itâ€™s just been such a fantastic experience for everyone involved.
â€œIâ€™m working this Christmas so it will be nail-biting for us all when the charts are announced on Christmas Day, just before the Queenâ€™s speech. The residents have really engaged with our journey and it will be the best present ever if we top the chart and raise as much money as we can for the Royal British Legion and SSAFA Forces Help.â€
The Military Wivesâ€™ Choir visited Tyspane earlier this month after seeing resident Mrs Helen Berry moved to tears in the crowd when they performed in the local town. They dedicated the song to Mrs Berry as she captured the spirit of their heartfelt performance.
Christmas is always an exciting time at Tyspane care centre but it has been made doubly special this year with the chance of grasping a Christmas number one. The residents have already embarked on a full programme of festive activities including carol singing, decoration making and perhaps there might even be a visit from the man himself. Mrs Berry who has lived at the home for four years, said: â€œI'm really looking forward to Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and the staff at Tyspane make it a really special day for us. This year we have the added excitement of the countdown to the announcement of the Christmas Number one."
There has also been huge support from the rest of the company with its 15,000-strong staff getting behind the caring Christmas number one. Mike Parsons, Founder and Chief Executive at Barchester has encouraged staff from across more than 200 of its care homes, to support the four carers.
Mike said: â€œThe charities they support are tremendous, the work their loved ones do overseas is outstanding and the care our colleagues give at Tyspane care centre makes us all proud.â€
More about the carers
- Sarah Wall - Care Assistant at Tyspane since September 2010. Sarah has two children aged 13 and 6 with her husband, Mark Wall, Corporal, MPGS (Military Police). Sarah will be in the home on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
- Hayley Flood - Care Assistant at Tyspane since November 2009. Hayley has three children aged 16, 13 and 6. Her husband is Jim Flood, Staff Sergeant, Royal Engineer, deployed to Afghanistan in March 2011 and returned in September 2011. Hayley is working Boxing Day.
- Carly Pearce - Care Assistant at Tyspane since November 2009. Carly has two children aged 10 and 6 Her husband is Darren Pearce, Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer (Medic) and served in Afghan in 2009. Carly is working Boxing Day.
- Kirsty Cunningham - Care Assistant at Tyspane since September 2009Kirsty Cunningham has two children aged 12 and 6 Her husband is Paul Cunningham, Rank of Sergeant, REMI.served in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2011. Kirsty is on annual leave and spending Christmas in Scotland.
The girls, as part of the Military Wives choir, have already appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, Saturday Morning Kitchen and have performed at The Royal Albert Hall and at Number 10. On Monday night they sang at The Sunâ€™s Military Awards with Little Mix to a crowd of royalty, celebrities and courageous service men and women at Londonâ€™s Imperial War Museum.