CARE home staff have been praised for going ‘above and beyond’ to keep residents entertained during the coronavirus pandemic.

The teams at the New Deanery and St Mary’s Court, which are based in Bocking, have put on a range of events for residents over the past three months, including an Elvis tribute night and Hawaiian cocktail party.

The entertainment has been staged because the homes have banned all visitors during the pandemic to keep staff and residents safe.

Finance director Jo Moore was persuaded to help organise some of the events having sung in rock’n’roll bands back in her school days.

She has been tasked with singing classic summer hits like Sunny Afternoon, Summer Holiday and Surfin’ USA during some of the cocktail parties.

She said: “I’ve really loved it, it’s been such a privilege and a nice change from looking after the finances!

“It’s been a difficult time and our residents have really missed going out and seeing family as well as our usual entertainments programme.

“It is lovely to see everyone singing along and tapping their feet – it has really brightened their spirits.”

Julia Clinton, chief executive of Sonnet, which runs the two homes, has paid tribute to her staff for helping to keep residents positive during the pandemic and finding new ways to keep them entertained.

She said: “Our whole team has been focused on keeping residents safe during the lockdown and I’m proud that they’ve gone way beyond the call of duty to bring fun and happiness to our community.”