A PAIR that set out to bring a wartime performance to 100 care homes across the North-East have increased their goal after reaching 75 this week.

Hebburn-based Deborah Taylor-Smith decided to bring her ‘Wor Vera’ vintage singer act to care homes across the region after facing cancellations due to Covid-19, but felt the performances, to make residents smile, were more important than ever to during lockdown.

Separately, furloughed football coach Mikey Weston was delivering care packages to homes in Darlington after seeing an appeal for hand sanitiser on Facebook. The two teamed up to provide entertainment and essentials to the elderly across the region, challenging themselves to visit 100 care homes. After reaching 75 yesterday and with more than 100 booked in, 123 is the next milestone. Ms Taylor-Smith “thought that was a good number to finish on”.

Ms Taylor-Smith said: “The journey to 100 has flown by. I was unsure how it would go, as a singer this number of shows would take its toll on anyone, but Mikey has kept me busy. I have managed to get to 75 already, as well as a weekly radio show then look after, feed and entertain my children while keeping the house reasonably tidy.

“The shows have all been amazing, to see the joy and smiles has been incredible and is keeping me motivated for the next performances.”

The singer has also contacted the Guinness Book of World Records for the most care homes visited in a short space of time.

As well as the care home challenge, ‘Wor Vera’ is also performing for private bookings, while Mr Weston has started delivering lunches to care staff who are unable to leave the workplace while on shift.

The 38-year-old, who delivered 60 pork pies donated by Taylors Butchers to staff yesterday, is urging councils or government to put something in place to continue this work after Covid-19/

He said: “I don’t believe this should stop as soon as coronavirus does. There should be a service like this that anyone can use. It doesn’t cost much to take a sarnie or can of pop to a care home. Everyone should be helping where they can.”

Mr Weston and Ms Taylor-Smith have created a Facebook group, called Local Care Support, where people can appeal for or offer donations.