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Meet Terry Wilkins, Renaissance’s Ukulele playing owner

19 November 2020

Terry Wilkins 2

Many of our owners across our communities have many talents, but we think that Terry Wilkins at our Wokingham community might be our only owner to play the Ukulele.

Following his retirement, Terry helped, as a volunteer, to develop the Police Support Volunteer scheme at Thames Valley Police, before being asked to support other forces nationally, which resulted in the Queen presenting him with an OBE in 2012 for services to policing.

Since then, Terry has been appointed as the Citizen’s in Policing Ambassador for Thames Valley Police and more lately he has learned to play the Ukulele and recently put on a gig for our other owners at Wokingham.

Hi Terry, can you tell us a bit about the Ukulele Group and how it was established?

We formed a band specifically for the gig played at Renaissance Wokingham. The gig was a way to mark the end of the lockdown and get everyone back together again – socially distanced of course!

It was formed out of our existing eight-piece band Ukes and More. As there were just four of us this time, we created the name Four to the Fore.

Ukes and More are fairly new and of course we had to stop during the lockdown. We formed the group with the objective of creating a bit of new sound, something that was different to your usual ukulele music – we really wanted to be creative.

How long have you been playing and how many gigs and shows do you usually perform?

I’m a rhythm player and harmonist – in other words I sing along with the lead singer! I’ve been playing for two years now and I play in three groups. Before the lockdown we would regularly perform in and around the area in such places as care homes, for charitable organisations and other retirement complexes. My favourite gig was with one hundred other ukulele players in the middle of Reading, outside Marks and Spencer. That day we raised over £800 for a local charity.

I really love performing. I’m a bit of an extrovert so playing for people satisfies my nature and it’s great to bring some fun along the way – at least I hope I am! Occasionally I play sing-along songs for the owners here and I really love doing it. Pure joy.

Why did I learn the ukulele? It is probably the easiest string instrument to learn – especially for older people, its small, light and only has four strings!

What your favourite thing about living in Wokingham?

I love how accessible it is to get into town, we can walk everywhere we want in 15 minutes so it’s great to not be reliant on a car. We’re also so close to major motorways, should we want to explore other places across the UK.

Have you got any top tips for the local area?

There are some very good restaurants in Wokingham and great places to get a good cup of coffee, I’d highly recommend Gail’s Bakery.

We go walking most days and there are some really lovely routes to explore, one of which is just down the road.

What is the sense of community like at Renaissance Wokingham?

The spirit and socialising here is absolute fantastic and I’ve loved becoming part of this new community – the Four to the Fore performance was a way of getting everyone back together again after the lockdown and enjoying ourselves again as we have always done.

If you’re interested in moving to a new home with a strong sense of community, then look no further than Renaissance Wokingham. With just a few homes remaining, get in touch with our sales team today on 01183 150 808 or email [email protected]