A father-son duo have raised almost £50,000 for a dementia charity after posting videos of their in-car karaoke duets online.
The heartwarming singsongs are performed by 40-year-old Simon McDermott and his dad Ted, 80, who has dementia.
Ted, who used to work as a Butlin’s Redcoat and performed in various pubs and clubs, was diagnosed with the degenerative illness in 2013. But despite this, he still loves to sing.
Ted and his son have performed a few numbers, which have been posted to Ted’s ‘The Songaminute Man’ Facebook page.
Their latest hit, which has been viewed more than three million times, sees them sing along to Engelbert Humperdinck’s ‘Quando Quando’ in a Sainsbury’s car park.
According to Ted’s Facebook page, which is managed by his family, the 80-year-old’s memory has deteriorated a lot in the past few years.
Sometimes he is unable to recognise his own family and he can even experience “aggressive episodes”. But when he sings, he’s back in the room.
“It’s these moments that we treasure,” reads his Facebook page.
Simon explained that they are raising money for Alzheimer’s Society because of the advice the charity has given to the family in the last few years.
“Without them we would have had very little idea or support about how to deal with even the basics of Dad’s condition,” reads the family’s JustGiving page.
“The more Alzheimer’s kicked in, the more Dad became violent - both physically and verbally - it was incredibly difficult to manage. And terrifying at times.
“Alzheimer’s Society provide a telephone helpline to sufferers and their families.
“I cannot begin to describe how a stranger’s voice at the end of the phone line helped when things got really bad.”
In response to the family’s fundraising achievements, Michael Dent, director of fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society, told The Huffington Post UK: “Alzheimer’s Society is extremely grateful for Simon’s fantastic fundraising achievements in honour of his father, Teddy Mac.
“‘Songaminute’ is an inspiring and touching idea that is not only raising vital funds for the charity, but also highlighting the positive impact that listening to music and singing can have for people with dementia.”
He added: “It’s been really encouraging to hear that our National Dementia Helpline has helped Simon while he cares for his father, particularly as he has come to terms with his father’s diagnosis. Our helpline advisers are here to support anyone affected by dementia by providing a listening ear, practical advice and help with signposting to other support services for people with dementia and their carers.
“We are delighted with the amount Simon has raised for Alzheimer’s Society and look forward to seeing more videos of him and Teddy singing their hearts out.”
Simon now hopes to create more videos with his dad and to even get him singing with a live band.
“He’d really love that,” he told the BBC.