When the pandemic struck, professional drummer Jim McDermott’s career was put on hold, but Jim decided to make the most of the opportunity to give something to the community near his home.
About 12 months ago, he had just finished recording with some of the members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and was looking forward to his calendar filling up and getting back on tour.
Jim’s career up to then has involved working with Simple Minds, Kylie Minogue, Deacon Blue and Del Amitri.
Jim, who is originally from Glasgow, said: “I have lived, I guess, a privileged life in my musical career, but then last year everything changed. It was shock to the system as usually my touring calendar is quite busy. I thought I need to go and do something. I thought I’m going to try to do something to help the community out.”
So Jim took a post as a relief domestic assistant at the County Council’s Ashfield old persons’ home in Skipton.
Jim said: “I am very lucky and privileged to have been accepted into Ashfield by the lovely manager and fantastic staff.
“I walked through that door not having any experience at all of working in a care home, never mind in the middle of a global pandemic. It is humbling to see the way everyone mucked in, got on with things and interacted with the residents to try and keep people smiling.
“The whole process of this last year has been a learning curve for me, because I get to play all over the world – Wembley Stadium, Broadway – but walking in here and helping out with the staff and the residents has been one of the best moments of my life.
“I knew I could give something. I didn’t know what I could give and, yes, it took me about two months to work out what a Yorkshire teacake is – I thought it was just something we had in Scotland that is covered in chocolate, and I had no idea why someone would want a teacake and sausage together. That didn’t make any sense to me. So when I got put in the kitchen I learned quickly what a Yorkshire teacake was.
“It has been such a learning curve the whole way. I started from working in the kitchen to cleaning the home and helping out with daily tasks.
“What I’ve seen in this past year on a human scale is unbelievable and it’s just amazing for North Yorkshire County Council to have a home like this that operates on this level. That’s something I had never seen on tour or on any stage with any of the superstars I’ve worked with. These people are superstars in here. These are the guys that will get us out of this and I am very humbled. Every day I walk in I see somebody doing something for somebody else.
“If my tenure in Ashfield comes to an end at some point, I will remember this for the rest of my life. It has been a pleasurable experience and an education.”