Drummer who has worked with Red Hot Chilli Peppers has been working in Skipton care home throughout coronavirus pandemic

Swapping drumming for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for helping in an elderly care home in Yorkshire has been the honour of a lifetime, a volunteer has said.

Professional drummer Jim McDermott has been helping at a care home in Skipton during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: NYCC

Selfless drummer Jim McDermott has been spending the coronavirus pandemic on the frontline at the home in Skipton after moving from his home of Glasgow to Haworth just three months before the country went into lockdown.

Mr McDermott, who has drummed for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Simple Minds and Del Amitri, realised early on in the virus outbreak that concerts would be off the schedule for a long time, and instead threw his efforts into helping in the community.

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For the past 12 months, he has been working as a relief domestic assistant – a role he described as a "privilege".

Professional drummer Jim McDermott has been helping at a care home in Skipton during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: NYCC

"I'm very lucky and privileged to be accepted into Ashfield care home in Skipton," Mr McDermott said during a coronavirus press conference held by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) on Tuesday.

"I walked through that door on that day last year not having any experience at all of working in a care home, never mind in the middle of a global pandemic, and what it would bring.

"It's just humbling to see the way everyone mucked in, got on with things and try to keep people smiling."

He added that the move from playing drums for huge names on the music scene to a care home in rural Yorkshire had been somewhat of a culture shock, in particular when learning what a Yorkshire tea cake was.

Professional drummer Jim McDermott has drummed for the likes of Kylie Minogue but has been helping at a care home in Skipton over the past year. Picture: NYCC

"The whole process of this last year has been overwhelming," he continued.

"I've played all over the world - Wembley Stadium, Broadway, everything - but working this year and helping with the staff and the residents has just been one of the best moments actually of my life.

"I knew I could give something. I didn't know what I could give, and it's taken me about two months to work out what a Yorkshire tea cake is. I thought it was just something that we have in Scotland that's covered in chocolate, and I had no idea why someone would want a tea cake and sausage together. That didn't make any sense to me."

Mr McDermott described his time at the care home as a “pleasurable experience” and “an education”.

He said: “It just puts all my escapades on tour with Kylie and the Red Hot Chili Peppers into perspective, it really does.”

Rachel Bowes, North Yorkshire County Council’s Director of Care and Support, also spoke at the conference, paying tribute to the "flexibility and dedication" of care teams which she said had been "absolutely humbling".

She said many care settings had been really hard hit and did not have enough staff, at times, to keep people safe.

"Our teams in North Yorkshire care settings have volunteered and stepped up and gone above and beyond to make sure that people have been supported," said Ms Bowes.