Bethnal Green care home resident, 86, set to release charity single

Vera Welch, 86, has sung on a charity record set to be released later this year

Vera Welch, 86, has sung on a charity record set to be released later this year - Credit: Archant

An 86-year-old care home crooner, who used to sing to the troops in World War Two, is set to release a charity single she hopes will make it into this year’s chart-toppers.

Vera Welch, who lives at Silk Court in Bethnal Green, recorded the song with staff and residents from her centre in Ivimey Street to raise money for Contact the Elderly.

Older people living in other centres across London, run by the care home company Anchor, also joined the Anchor Community Band to lend their voices to the record.

A spokesman for the company said the song title is being kept a closely-guarded secret until the song is released in May or June.

Vera, who enlisted with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) during the war, said: “Music has played such a big part of my life.

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“After the war, I was the lead singer for 25 years with The Tommy De Rosa band, which was one of the big bands at the time and performed at all the top hotels in West End.

“I loved every minute so to sing decades later on this charity record is fabulous. I am really excited about being in a band again.”

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And Vera believes the song has an important message too: “It’s really powerful because the words are telling younger people we are exactly the same as them - but just a bit older.”

Silk Court’s Manager, Marcia Forsyth, said all the residents were keen to take part.

“For the majority of the older people in the Anchor Community Band this is the first time they will performing in front of a microphone - but Vera loved being back in the limelight and sang fantastically,” she said.

“The older people in the band have worked so hard, either singing or playing an instrument, during rehearsals that I hope people across London will support them by downloading or buying the record when it is released later this year.”

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