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Piano playing pensioner raising thousands for the NHS

98-year-old Rebecca Parker, originally from the Isle of Skye.
98-year-old Rebecca Parker, originally from the Isle of Skye.

A 98-year-old great-grandmother, inspired by the Captain Tom Moore, is overcoming her battle with arthritis to play piano for 100 days in support of the NHS.

Rebecca Parker was taught how to play piano by her mother Isabella McLennan while growing up on the Isle of Skye.

Decades on, she is using her love of music to helping to raise money for NHS key workers continuing to battle the Covid-19 crisis.

Mrs Parker, who also learned the accordion and fiddle in her youth, is playing a series of traditional Highland dancing and Scottish tunes on a baby grand piano every day for 100 days, despite having severe arthritis in her hands.

The former primary school teacher, a resident at McClymont House care home in Lanark, South Lanarkshire, said: “My mother Isabella McLennan was a fine pianist and she taught me.

“I get a fine big cushion to sit on and I like to play some Scottish tunes.”

Mrs Parker with her mother, Isabella McLennan.

Mrs Parker was inspired to take on the challenge following the outstanding efforts of Captain Tom Moore in the run-up to his 100th birthday.

Now more than half way through her own quest, her efforts have so far raised in excess of £2,300 for the NHS, doubling her initial crowdfunding target.

The money will be donated to the Lanarkshire Health Board Endowment Fund which invests donations to improve patients’ health.

Mrs Parker is also a dedicated member of  the congregation at St John’s Parish Church in Carluke.

Care Home manager, Charles Delaney, said: “Rebecca’s faith and her church are very important to her and she is doing this to replicate what Captain Tom did to support the NHS.

“She is a remarkable and selfless woman.

“The fact that she is 98 and still determined to continue helping people in the wider community is inspiring.”

Her minister, the Reverend Dr Elijah Obinna, also praised her efforts, saying: “Each time I visit her and sit and listen to her stories, her testimony, I leave feeling really inspired.

“She has an amazing heart and is very godly.

“I am very impressed, proud and excited that she is raising money for the NHS in this way.”

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