Electric Umbrella was stopped in its tracks three weeks ago when due to Covid-19 the charity was forced to suspend all its face to face sessions, gigs and schools visits.
In just the space of a few days Electric Umbrella pulled the team together and created EUTV, an online programme of interactive opportunities enabling some of the most isolated members of the community to come together for connection, friendship and music.
Mel Boda, CEO, said the new channel has already proved popular.
She explained: “Our charitable purpose is to combat social isolation but we could have never anticipated the need to respond to anything on this scale. Our newly created EUTV channel is providing over 20 hours of programming a week for our community of adults with learning disabilities and their families who need to see familiar faces and maintain routine and connection through this difficult time.”
Already EUTV’s midday spotlight session is attracting some great guests including Dan Gillespie Sells lead singer of The Feeling and musical composer behind Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and Major of Watford dropping in to read A Tall Tale.
Tom Billington, artistic director said: “We have been overwhelmed by families who have been in touch to say that EUTV has been a life-line. It’s crazy that we’ve reached beyond 24,000 people online with our delivery in the first 7 days and we’ve only just begun.”
The charity has been approached by adult care services across the country asking how they can engage their residents with the online programme.
Electric Umbrella were set to release their latest single Try Smiling on May 1 in collaboration with the team at Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden.
The team had been working with Electric Umbrella members to film a music video focused around the encounters of Electric Umbrella’s Little Yellow Street pianos that are due to be popping up across Hertfordshire this summer.
Despite this disruption to plans, the music video will still go ahead. Electric Umbrella and Warner Bros Studio will be collecting and editing together all the performances to create the most joyous of videos to show the world.
Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden said: “We are delighted to be able to provide support to Electric Umbrella and the launch of its fantastic Try Smiling campaign. Electric Umbrella provides fantastic services and the upcoming music video challenge perfectly champions the charities values of inclusivity and positivity.’’
Film yourself performing Try Smiling and send Electric Umbrella your video – full details at electricumbrella.co.uk/video-challenge entries must be received by April 17.