Care Sector’s Got Talent: The talented Mr Singh
Caring Times caught up with last year’s ‘Care Sector’s Got Talent’ winner Sarabdeep Singh from Hallmark Care Homes to find out what attracted him to the industry and to enter the celebratory showcase event.
It was only last summer that Sarabdeep Singh joined Hallmark Care Homes’ facility in Lightwater, Surrey. “I came to the UK in February last year from India and initially worked for another provider. Social care was my first job in the UK and I would never do another job; I love supporting and working with older people,” said Sarabdeep.
“One of my relatives was already working at Lakeview and told me to apply due to its lovely ambience. I’m a care assistant there, I work nights and I really enjoy helping other people with their care needs.”
Sarabdeep wasn’t always a care assistant, however. For four years he worked as a dance instructor teaching traditional dance in India and regularly performing shows and music videos in his hometown in Punjab. In the UK, Sarabdeep has also performed at many concerts including the O2 and The Royal Albert Hall.
“From childhood at the age of nine, I used to perform; it’s always been my hobby and it makes me happy,” said Sarabdeep.
When ‘Care Sector’s Got Talent’ opened and Hallmark Care Homes encouraged its team members to take part, Sarabdeep was given the opportunity to show the care industry his signature dance moves and jumped at the chance. “I entered because it’s one of my interests and I was excited to showcase my talent to everyone,” he said. “When I was shortlisted, it felt really good and I was surprised. I didn’t believe it at first and I was really happy to be selected. My parents were really excited for me as well.”
Sarabdeep then performed live as part of the national talent extravaganza from the Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham in October alongside seven other gifted care workers and residents. From pianists to singers and dancers, the talented finalists from across the UK gave incredible performances demonstrating both their passion for care and the diversity of talent in the sector.
The special event was hosted by Angela Boxall, Majesticare chief executive, chair of the competition’s committee, and Championing Social Care organising committee member. It was live streamed across the UK and Angela was joined in her efforts by the one and only ‘Ant & Dec’ of the care sector – Mark Topps and Adam Parnell who welcomed the finalists alongside an illustrious panel of judges.
Judges to the 2022 competition included: Steph Thompson from My Home Life England, Sanjay Dhrona from the Close Care Home, Sarah Hyman from Nexus Media Group and Rob Martin from Anchor. The event was watched by more than 1,500 people and 100% of participants said CSGT helped them to celebrate the social care sector. “I really enjoyed performing in the competition, it was a nice experience, the environment was good and people seemed to really enjoy watching me perform,” said Sarabdeep.
Sarabdeep was crowned winner and was awarded a £500 LoveToShop voucher. He also performed for 350 guests at The Leaders in Care Awards and officially opened The Care Show at the NEC in Birmingham. “I was on cloud nine when I won,” he said. “I was very nervous before the competition but thoroughly enjoyed performing on stage. I was so grateful to the judges, the audience and my team and the residents at Lakeview for their support.”
While the competition is now over for Sarabdeep, it hasn’t stopped him performing and he encourages other care workers and residents to apply for this year’s competition so their talents can also be recognised. “On special occasions such as Diwali, I perform for the residents at Lakeview who appreciate my skills and love to watch and try to join in and move their legs and arms like me,” he said.
Angela Boxall added: “The joy of the live final really allowed the acts and sector to sparkle. Sarabdeep absolutely wowed our audience and judges who commented on how he dances from the heart. Just wonderful! It was a true honour and privilege to get to know last year’s contestants and be involved with CSGT22. We are part of a very special sector filled with talented and gifted people, I’m already excited for this year’s competition!”
‘Care Sector’s Got Talent’ opens for entries on 7 February and you can watch last year’s competition at: youtube.com/ watch?v=Ma7T1e7LiLo
All talented people, whether in the field of singing, dancing, comedy, magic or music, should stay tuned and keep an eye out for the registrations to open. Care Sector’s Got Talent 2023 is able to go ahead due to the generous support of its sponsors, Florence and Marr Procurement. If you are interested in sponsoring ‘Care Sector’s Got Talent’, contact Niharika Noakes, director of championing social care at [email protected]