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WATCH: Brass band's musical 'Advent calendar' to help vulnerable islanders

WATCH: Brass band's musical 'Advent calendar' to help vulnerable islanders

Sunday 13 December 2020

WATCH: Brass band's musical 'Advent calendar' to help vulnerable islanders


Unable to spread Christmas cheer by playing in town, a local charity’s brass band has decided to appeal to its musical friends to count down the days to 25 December in music.

The 10 members of the Salvation Army’s brass band normally play in the high street in the lead-up to Christmas to raise funds for the charity’s community work.

This year, however, they have been unable to hold their usual performances due to the pandemic.

They have therefore turned to social media to help spread the Christmas cheer with a musical Advent calendar.

Every day, the charity shares a music video from the ‘Salvos’ on its Facebook page and has been encouraging islanders who would normally help fill the fundraising packets to instead send donations to its Just Giving page. 

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Pictured: The charity is calling for islanders to make donations to its JustGiving page.

“As a band, we would normally be out every week playing but with the current restrictions, we cannot do it,” Lieutenant Richard Nunn explained. “Christmas time is kind of when the Salvation Army all makes sense, so we are in town playing on the high street. 

“Instead of doing nothing, to fill the gap, we decided to share videos. It’s the only thing we can do, it’s nowhere near the same, but it’s something."

But it's not just band members featuring in the calendar initiative - the charity has appealed to its musical friends near and far to join in.

So far, this has included the Chatham Salvation Amy Band, which includes Jerseyman Charlie Gouyet, who performed ‘Silent Night’, as well as islander Philip Le Claire, whom the charity described as a “real supporter” of many years. 

Video: Phil Le Claire recorded his own video to support the initiative.

“Through the summer, Philip and Alison raised literally thousands of pounds for our community fund. He's got skills, and a big heart - so massive thanks!" the charity wrote in a post.

The Salvation Army in Guernsey and Orkney will also be taking part and recording their own videos.

“We are mixing up different people and making it up as we go along,” Mr Nunn said. “I hope people enjoy it.”

He added that hoped islanders would donate what they would normally give in town to help fund the charity’s community work. 

Video: The Salvation Army's brass band musicians, like Euphonium player Dennis, are taking part.

“It will go towards helping people who are experiencing difficulties,” he explained. “Our food bank has not stopped, it continues but not on the same scale.

“We are doing lots of different things. We have groups of people who are on their own and lonely so we are doing phone calls.”

“We have seen a big demand for free soup in our café and we are seeing more who are struggling emotionally so we are calling them,” he added. 

“People also need financial support struggling with the cost of Christmas and the cost of heating.

“We also have our Christmas day event where we will be feeding around 100 people this year."

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