Home News Online singing movement in Kirklees raises over £16,000 for The Kirkwood

26 Nov 2021 Community

Online singing movement in Kirklees raises over £16,000 for The Kirkwood

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic an online community singing movement has sprung up right here in Kirklees, allowing people to get their groove on in the comfort of their own homes whilst helping to raise much needed funds for The Kirkwood at the same time.

Jon and Ann Coombs, from Crosland Moor along with their good friends Dezzi Dee and Sarah Jay, have raised an astonishing £16,500 for The Kirkwood, through the power of social media – and with the help of their amazing friends! Despite the various lockdowns and social restrictions enforced upon us over the past 20 months, they have been delighting their loyal Facebook followers, raising spirits with their varied and ‘lockdown live’ events on Saturday nights (and even hosting mid-week events).

The couple took to Facebook live streaming as a way to keep their friends and the wider community entertained at a time when many of us were struggling to find ways to ease the boredom and have raised thousands of pounds in the process. These funds will help us Support Life for people across Kirklees affected by any life limiting illness.

Starting on the 20th April 2020 with their debut Facebook live stream, their fundraising efforts culminated in an amazing night at Golcar’s British Legion club in October 2021.

On starting up the fundraising, Jon said: “We do karaoke’s for a living as well as having our own sign company, A1 Signs & Banners at Taylor Hill. Obviously during the pandemic, we couldn’t present our karaoke nights because the pubs were shut.

“Lots of our friends are singers that are either professional or do it just as karaoke, some needed to earn extra income in the pandemic and so lots started to sing on Facebook live.  Ann said to me ‘why don’t you do it’, eventually I was persuaded and decided to use the shows to raise money for The Kirkwood.

“As the weeks went by, more and more people started to watch us and put more and more money in, which was just unbelievable really.”

Jon, Ann, Dezzi and Sarah are particularly appreciative of the many people who have helped them along the way to raising this momentous amount of money.

Ann said: “This has brought us even closer to people that we were initially friends with, and it’s been brilliant to involve so many people in what we are doing. We couldn’t have raised any of the money we have without the help of these amazing people and that all culminated in an event at Golcar.

“Special thanks also have to go to Rick Wagler, Dave Clough, Alan Gibson, Lofty and Billie Jo who also sang and helped in raising these funds for The Kirkwood.”

The event in Golcar was a huge success and there was a real community spirit on the night with all of Jon and Ann’s friends turning up to the event to put on a real show.

On how good the night was, Jon explains: “It was just a brilliant night all around, but we had a bit of a nightmare at the start as my mixing desk blew up! I used to play in a band called Vital Signs and they were playing at our event, so I rang one of the band members who brought his own mixing desk, so I must thank him and the band for coming to play and giving their time for free, they were amazing.

“It was quite emotional on the night because it felt like we had really achieved something and helped to bring lots of people together which was just amazing.”

Julia Owen, a Community Fundraiser with The Kirkwood, said: “Jon, Ann and their friends are a real inspiration to us all. The event at Golcar was just the end of what had been an incredible fundraising effort.

“Not many people raise this amount of money for us through their own initiative and I think it’s testament to them all that they have achieved all of this during a global pandemic. Both Jon and Ann are fantastic, and we really appreciate the support and funds they have raised for us. The funds they have raised will go on to help us support hundreds of patients and families who are struggling with a long-term illness here in Kirklees.”

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