Musical tone to day-out fundraising

Musical tone to day-out fundraising

Fundraising for a day-out to Bridlington for a group of vulnerable people from Wakefield at risk of homelessness has taken on a musical note.

SUSTAIN Wakefield - which works with vulnerable adults, couples and families at risk of homelessness in Wakefield - is aiming to raise £1,500 to take a group of fifty service users on a day out in Bridlington in early September (Coronavirus restrictions permitting).

So far, they have raised around £800 towards their total through raffles, tombolas and money collected from clothing and accessories donations through 'Cash for Clothes' and have hit on a novel way of drawing attention to their fundraising attempts and Crowdfunding page with a sea shanty-style ditty entitled "SUSTAIN is Going to Brid".

Lyrics have been penned by Fran Lomax, Volunteer and Peer Development Coordinator at SUSTAIN Wakefield. Music and performance are by Phil Devonport from Thinking Forward for Mental Health: a small mental health charity run out of St Catherine’s Church in Wakefield, where SUSTAIN is also based.

“I have never written lyrics before, but the words just came to me one night,” said Fran. “They originally went to a different tune, but realising singing was not my thing, I roped in Phil to help and as well as performing it, he wrote new music and recorded it.”

SUSTAIN is Going to Brid can be heard via SUSTAIN’s Twitter @TLA_Sustain, and Turning Lives Around’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/Tlivesaround) pages and sets out what is planned for service users on their excursion.

“We are planning a full day-out involving transport, lunch, games on the beach in the morning plus some free time in the afternoon,” explained Fran.

“Covid-19 and the restrictions it has brought has been hard for us all, but can you imagine going through this while also facing the prospect of homelessness? Any feelings of anxiety, depression, and mental health issues have been compounded by the isolation and loneliness relating to the Pandemic. “Our clients need a break, something to look forward to, and while we appreciate that a day-out might not fix everything, it will give them hope, something to look forward to as well as the other health benefits that being with others, somewhere new, in the fresh sea air can give.”

SUSTAIN staff and volunteers, many of whom will accompany service users on the day out, are fundraising in their own time to raise the money needed to potentially fund two coaches (to allow for social distancing) should restrictions still be in place. Amongst the people doing their bit are staff members Jayne Clarkson and Emily Carey, who are walking the equivalent of Hadrian's Wall, aiming to walk 90 miles each over the course of a month, in 5-10 mile stints.

“This day-out will mean so much for our service users and benefit them in so many ways; for many, it is like having an annual holiday. It will also provide an opportunity for them to get to know SUSTAIN staff and support workers in a more relaxed setting, building a greater rapport and enabling us to help them more effectively in future.”