Just over a week ago, I had the privilege of bring in the audience at Alfie Boe’s homecoming concert in Fleetwood and it was the best concert experience of my life. Not only the fabulous singing and music from Alfie’s band but the unique atmosphere and mutual love between Alfie and Fleetwood made it such a special experience and one that anyone who was there will never forget (photo: Annie Lloyd).
When Alfie announced this concert last year, he also announced that £2 from each ticket bought would go directly to the local Fylde Coast hospice, Trinity, of which Alfie is a proud patron. Alfie has spearheaded many fundraising initiatives over the years, resulting in donations coming in from all four corners of the world – one of the most successful was the Alfie Boe YouTubeathon last year, something that we hope to repeat this summer.
Since the concert, it has been announced that sales from tickets have funded a full week of care at Brian House, the children’s hospice on the same site as Trinity. With space for four children as in-patients, the service supports over eighty families in total, meeting complex needs, providing support for the family and care for children who will not be cured of their illness. Respite care, which is provided at regular intervals, gives families the opportunity to experience times of relief and normality. When a child’s life is limited it puts enormous pressure on every member of the family as they try to cope with the emotional, practical and financial implications. It can be really hard for brothers and sisters too, so for all the family, Brian House is a support mechanism. This support continues even when the service is no longer required as each child that passes away is named on the memory tree; many families find comfort in being able to return to see their child’s name.
I was lucky enough to be given a tour by Rebecca Ferguson, External Communications Manager and I have to say that it’s an amazing place. The kitchen is a hive of activity and with its sweet shop colour theme and giant marshmallow decorations looks good enough to eat! Each of the four bedrooms has a theme, with one specially designed for teenagers. The lounge areas are spacious enough for group music therapy (beds can be accommodated), and for informal play and relaxation. The sensory room and corridor are an adventure of colour, light and sounds and the sound I could hear coming down the corridor was chat and laughter from children and adults alike. Here is Rebecca (left)with senior fundraiser Janet Atkins, handing over a card made by Brian House users, (photo Darren Nelson).
Rebecca was also on duty at the Fleetwood concert, along with many volunteers who collected money from concert goers. The total from these buckets (separate from the ticket sales) was £2,700 and another £3,000 was donated by two very generous local people as well.
Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket or has donated – every penny is used in the excellent palliative care at Trinity and Brian House.
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