Alfie Boe has several charities that he supports and we like to keep fans up to date with them all. One thing that all the charities mention is the generosity of Alfie and his fans alike and no exception to that is TF Willetts, of whom Alfie is a patron and I spoke to the CEO, Brian E Willetts earlier this year.
The TF Willetts Foundation was formed back in 2007 and so 2017 will be their 10th anniversary. Their aims and objects are simple, being to continue the education of young people through the arts and to find ways to strengthen the identity of the individual and community through a variety of arts driven initiatives and programmes. I was aware that the charity is based in Wales but was keen to find out more about their work in other parts of the country. The CEO, Brian E Willetts, said
Our work as a charity is national and international and whilst The Light Project is focused on an area of Wales we support projects that have an impact across the UK and US. Our ‘Sounding Motion’ project works with young people in the north with composers from London and dancers for Leeds and London in partnership with Huddersfield University. Our ‘Choir of Light’ community has choirs in Wales, London, Midlands, the North and the USA and our music scholars perform across the world. In recent years our young people from our Choir of Light programme have performed, as part of his national tour, with Andrea Bocelli, with young people joining from across the UK to perform at the O2 as well as Leeds Arena.
Of course, this being the official Alfie Boe fan blog I was keen to find out how having Alfie as patron helps the foundation. Brian said that “Alfie, as our Patron, has aligned himself with our work both in terms of our education outreach and The Light Project. Both Alfie and Dame Shirley are great Patrons and their support as Patrons makes a real difference. They are both iconic artists from different generations and so speak to different audiences yet speak as one through our work to impact and improve the lives of young people through their passion for the arts and how they use the arts to communicate through their talent as singers and as role models. Having a Patron like Alfie, who is so unique and amazing, helps us show young people what is possible through hard work.”
TF Willetts is one of the less well known charities supported by Alfie but to them, size is not important. They prefer to concentrate on the impact the work has on those they support and work with. Of course, like every charity, they face challenges, not least that of generating enough funds to make the work possible but, as Brian explains, “when sometimes it feels hopeless, friends and supporters step up and make possible what we aim to do and for this we are so grateful.”
For further information on TF Willetts and their work, click here.