Singer David Van Day and wife Sue Moxley perform at three Suffolk care homes on Mother’s Day
David Van Day, the 1980s pop star, and his wife Sue Moxley encourage the residents of Woodbridge Lodge in Burkitt Road to sing along to various Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Dusty Springfield classics. The Essex couple performed at three care homes in Suffolk yesterday. David’s mother, Penny, died aged 84 from Alzheimer’s Disease on Mother’s Day in 2011. She lived with vascular dementia, the second most common form of severe memory loss after Alzheimer’s disease. “It was a difficult time,” David said. “If you ask them (people with dementia) what they had for breakfast, they won’t remember. But if you ask them what happened 50 years ago, they can remember.” The former Dollar and Bucks Fizz has since gained a national reputation for performing at care homes after performing a one-off show. He says he recognises the importance of music to people living with dementia. “We really enjoy putting smiles on their faces,” David said.
“It’s good to cheer them up, not that they need cheering up, but it’s nice and spices things up, especially on Mother’s Day. We also find it a fulfilling experience.” At Woodbridge Lodge, Mary Ann, in the front row, taps a tambourine while Charlie gets up and dances with a member of staff. Others clap along and tap their feet during the afternoon entertainment. Another resident, named Kathy, had earlier been given a teddy bear by her family as a Mother’s Day present. She named it David, and clutched on to it during the show. They had earlier performed at Allonsfield House care home in Campsea Ashe and were due to sing to residents at Spring Lodge care home in Woolverstone. All three care homes are owned by Kingsley Healthcare. “It was a great show at Allonsfield,” the couple beamed.
“Everyone was up for it and we had a really good time.” Lisa Goodchild, activities coordinator at Woodbridge Lodge (the member of staff who danced with David), said they hold regular entertainment afternoon sessions for the 30 residents. She said: “They were all looking forward to it during the week and were really eager. “We have not had a megastar like David here before and we delighted to have him perform here, especially on Mother’s Day in front of residents and their families. “They all join in and have a really good time during our entertainment events, while family members can meet and talk to each other.” David, who finished in fourth place in I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in 2008, and Sue both added that they might retire to Suffolk after enjoying a number of vacations to the coast. David said: “We love going to Aldeburgh, Walberswick and down the pier at Southwold. Suffolk is a fantastic county.”