Teenager piper performs tune in honour of NHS workers

Annabel Charlton, 14, penned 'A Thank You for the NHS' in honour of health service staff during pandemic.

A teenage piper has written and performed her own tune in honour of the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Annabel Charlton, a 14-year-old Pitlochry High School pupil, penned ‘A Thank You for the NHS’ and moved her mum to tears when she played it during Thursday’s Clap for Our Carers.

Parents Andy and Caitlin both work for NHS Tayside and were proud as punch when Annabel, who first picked up a chanter at the age of six, took to the garden to perform the song at 8pm.

Mum Caitlin, a registered nurse and medicine for the elderly service manager in Perth and Kinross, said: “Annabel has played her pipes in PRI several times and has said she will come and play again at any NHS Tayside site for staff and patients once we are through the other side of the curve. I’m a proud nurse and mum.

‘I’m a proud nurse and mum.’

Caitlin Charlton, Annabel’s mum

“It has been busy right across the NHS. Everyone has been phenomenal across health and social care, working together, doing what they are being asked to do to ensure we can continue to provide safe patient care.”

Musically gifted Annabel plays with grade 3b Edradour Pitlochry and Blair Atholl Pipe Band.

The talented teenager earned an audition with the National Youth Pipe Band for Scotland, which was due to take place just before lockdown.

However, it has been put on hold due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Speaking about how it felt to perform the new tune, she said: “I was out in the front garden and there were a lot of elderly people who were out on the road and clapped.”

Annabel’s family are surrounded by many elderly neighbours who have been cheered up in recent weeks, as she has gone outside to practice her bagpipes out on the front lawn, often joined by her 12-year-old brother Joseph on the drums.

“It’s a challenging time and it is what it is but we will continue to work together and support our communities,” Caitlin added.

Story by local democracy reporter Kathryn Anderson

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