Warwickshire carollers determined to continue fund-raising tradition - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire carollers determined to continue fund-raising tradition

Catherine Thompson 23rd Dec, 2020 Updated: 6th Jan, 2021   0

THE PANDEMIC won’t stop a group of fund-raising carollers from Stratford.

The group, which has been carolling for nearly two decades in aid of Shakespeare Hospice, are singing their carols over Zoom this year.

Over 60 voice recordings, made during a group Zoom call, were merged to create seven songs – including from one singer living on the other side of the world.

Snitterfield church organ is even used as the backing instrument for the songs, two of which are available to listen each evening in the run up to Christmas.

Usually the group unites every Christmas to make their way around the town, stopping at landmarks including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and many of the town’s pubs.

The group includes Mike Gunn, Nic Silvester, JJ Moore, Sam Mooring, Tony and Claire Smith, Helen and Jon Stenning and Susi Wisniewski.

Their carolling days began following the death of King Edwards IV modern languages teacher Ian Haines, who was cared for by the hospice. Some of the group are former pupils and wanted to fund-raise for the charity in his memory.

To date the group has raised over £7,000 for the hospice charity.

A spokesperson for the group said: “We didn’t want 2020 to be the year that stopped everything happening, particularly raising money for our local hospice. It was clear a few months ago we weren’t going to be able to go around the pubs and theatres of Stratford and sing carols, but we were determined to come up with a virtual alternative!

“Whilst we can’t trek around, sing carols and shake our collection tins, we can do it virtually. The most we’ve raised in one night is £791.42 – we’d be delighted to get anywhere near this in 2020. We were fortunate to have people with the skills to pull this off, including our audio technician Mike Gunn which allowed us to participate from our own homes, including someone in Thailand!”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/virtualcarolsinging2020 to donate to the cause.

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