One of the amazing things about these fundraisers is how the community has come together for me and my family. And there is no better example of that than the local folk scene in Warwickshire. My parents, Bill and Louise, know loads of people in the local folk community, and I was brought up listening to their bands play. Now, all of their friends have come together to organise gigs raising money for me and my family.
The Tump Folk Club, based at The Humber Pub in Coventry, put on a music event to support our appeal – and my dad was one of those to go along and play. It was organised at short notice by his good friend Keith Donnelly and folk club organiser Karen Orgill. Musician Anna Ryder, who I’ve known all my life, was also one to play along with MC Rob Oakey and support from Matthew Powell.
I wasn’t able to make it unfortunately, but my dad informs me that the room was packed – I’m assuming for Anna and Keith’s performances, rather than my dad’s… – and that ticket sales and donations raised a mind-boggling £601. Apparently, some hero actually paid my dad NOT to sing one of his songs. I can’t praise that person enough!! But thank you to everyone who attended – it obviously means a lot.
Yet another fundraiser saw an amazing £260 raised – this time thanks to The Sly Old Dogs, a group of fine musicians who play Irish and Scottish music throughout the Midlands. Members include family friends Bob Brooker and Pete Willow, who decided to dedicate their gig at the Wood Farm Brewery to the appeal.
It is humbling to think that those people in the audience – who have no idea who I am – were willing to contribute!
Thank you to Bob and Pete, and to all those who contributed!