Although 2021 hasn’t had the most auspicious start, with strict lockdowns in place across much of Europe, today we have a feel-good story to warm the heart:
While many people have spent their time in lockdown picking up new hobbies — baking sourdough, knitting, or reading War and Peace — Tim Hemmings, of Liverpool, and five of his friends decided to learn the ukulele.
“It’s been a welcome bit of colour and fun during lockdown — it’s creative and helps to relieve the monotony,” said Hemmings. “None of us had any previous experience, which made the classes terrifying and great fun. When permissible, our group practices have been a wonderful opportunity to catch up, sing, and play music. You don’t realise how important that is until it is taken away from you.”
With that sentiment in mind, Hemmings and friends decided to spread the joy around. On 20 December, elderly residents of Liverpool — isolated and under strict guidance to shelter due to COVID-19 risks — got an early Christmas present: the group organised a series of socially distant flash performances in the gardens of the elderly, who would stand at their door while the musicians played. Voi stepped in to provide the band with transportation from residence to residence.
We were thrilled to be a part of this initiative, and we asked Hemmings about the experience:
Why did you decide to give a concert?
We decided we wanted to surprise one of our group member’s mum, who has been in isolation for months, and it grew from there. It has been a tough time for everyone. Personally, I work in the tourist industry, so I haven’t worked for months. Many of the ensemble work in medicine, so they have had to cope and adapt to a new way of dealing with patients. When we met up, no one complained about their situation. We all knew someone who was worse off than us: isolated friends, elderly relatives, etc. That seems to be the prevailing attitude in the city.
We are by no means accomplished musicians, but it turned out that people desperately wanted to hear live music — and it’s even better when it arrives at your front door on electric scooters! It was festive, with children dancing in the street. Someone commented that it was the first live music they had seen since March.
How did your audience react to the performance?
At one of the homes we played, someone had to go back into the house because he was overcome with emotion. I knew people would enjoy it, but I didn’t realise how profoundly thankful and moved people would be. It made me feel incredibly satisfied and useful.
How many performances have you given thus far? Are you planning to do more?
We gave an afternoon of performances and stopped in four different locations. Sadly, we are unable to do any more at the moment, but we would like to.
How did you find out about the Voi e-scooters and why did you decide to approach us for your transportation needs?
We started to see e-scooters on the streets in Liverpool and felt that they would be a quick, efficient, and eco-friendly way of getting around the city. We had such fun on them — smiled all the way. They’re easy to use once you’ve downloaded the app. They are perfect for Liverpool, and the different hiring options means they can compete with traditional forms of transport.