The countdown’s begun – clock is ticking down to when Vamos Theatre, the UK’s leading full mask theatre company, launches The Wednesday Wave on 14 October 2020.
The Wednesday Wave is a national and international campaign to combat loneliness amongst care home residents and those who feel isolated during the current pandemic and beyond. More than half a million vulnerable people are still unable to leave their homes due to coronavirus. It’s having a huge impact on mental and physical health and those still isolating must not be forgotten.
For ten weeks, from 14 October until 16 December 2020, the Arts Council England-funded, Edinburgh Fringe favourites, Vamos Theatre Company, is encouraging the public to connect with residents in local care homes or isolated neighbours, by waving to them through windows from 3pm on Wednesdays. The company are also connecting primary schools with local care homes.
So, Vamos, How’s this all going to work? The Reviews Hub caught-up with Racheal Savage, Creative Team’s, Artistic Director, for some hands-on practical advice about ‘raving’ The Wave.
Firstly, she encourages those who want to participate to download the poster that can be printed in different resolution formats (including an ingenious ‘Colour-it-in-yourself’ option to save already IT strapped budgets at school and home – and to keep the little blighters busy!). This, of course, must coincide, wherever at all possible, within the ever-shifting COVID safety protocols schools are having to prioritise.
Vamos are encouraging Care Home residents, together with those who live alone and feeling isolated, or in need of contact, to put The Wednesday Wave poster in their windows, letting the community know they’re inviting a Wave. If you’d like to wave, whether on your way home from school, on a break from work or on a daily walk, identify somewhere with a poster displayed.
From 3pm on Wednesdays, let the waving begin!
The idea for The Wednesday Wave was born out of How Hard is Waving?, Vamos Theatre’s successful Culture in Quarantine commission for the BBC, a series of short films made in isolation during lockdown. How Hard is Waving? tells the story of a family trying to keep connected in lockdown and was itself inspired by the true story of Artistic Director Rachael Savage’s personal ‘wave’ with a local care home resident.
Rachael comments, “The impact that a friendly wave can have on loneliness is huge. We want this campaign to be felt nationally and internationally, and for communities of all backgrounds to take part, helping to make sure that those who are most at risk are not forgotten. Everyone can make a difference with the simple act of waving.”
Over 80 Care Homes with over 2,400 residents across the UK have already signed up to take part in The Wednesday Wave. Belfast, Nottingham, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Essex, Birmingham, Solihull, Somerset and Hertfordshire are just some of the locations, including Runwood Care Homes UK; Eastern County Care; Royal British Legion; Mowbray Nursing Home, Malvern; Arden House, Kidderminster and Stanfield Nursing Homes, Rushwick with more expected to join over the coming months.
Mark Topps, Registered Home Manager, Eastern County Care in Essex added: “We go out and walk everyday around our village, it’s been hard for everyone in lockdown but the elderly villagers have really appreciated talking with us from a safe distance on our daily walks and some really look forward to us passing by and wait for us by their windows. So, The Wednesday Wave is really worth while; it would make such a difference in people’s day, improving their well-being and self-worth.“