St Austell-based singer Mand Bennett has been keeping herself busy during lockdown by entertaining audiences online and raising money for Cornwall Care’s Penberthy home in Newquay.

The self-employed singer was doing gigs in pubs, clubs and other venues before the pandemic. Now she performs live on social media or outdoors and asks people to show their appreciation for her wide-ranging vocal talent by donating to charity.

The proceeds of Mand’s last four shows have all been collected to help buy an interactive magic table for residents at Penberthy. The fundraising initiative was started last year by children Mason and Phoebe Nelmes and Mand will be presenting her cheque for £200 to them on 8 May in the home’s garden. She will also entertain the residents outside with songs from across the decades, whilst streaming the event live on her Facebook page.

“I love singing and taking my shows online has been a great way of continuing to do that,” she said. “I’ve been raising money for a variety of charities and, when I saw what Phoebe and Mason have been doing, really wanted to help them too.

“Before Covid, I regularly sang in homes and loved watching the positive effect listening to old songs had on my audience. I’ve sung in care home gardens since and am looking forward to going to Penberthy. It will be lovely to meet the children and put on a show.”

Penberthy, one of sixteen homes and a network of community outreach services run by Cornwall Care, is a 34-bed residential home for people with a range of personal care needs. Magic tables offer a variety of fun activities designed to stimulate and engage and are acknowledged as an excellent way of supporting people living with dementia.

“Phoebe and Mason have so far raised more than £4000 towards the cost of our table and we can’t thank them – and contributors like Mand – for their amazing efforts and generosity enough,” said Penberthy manager Sue Aldridge. 

“We’re all very excited about Mand’s performance on 15 May. It will be a real treat.”

The show will be broadcast live on the Mand X (Mand Bennett) Facebook page on Saturday 15 May. To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nelmes1