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Raising the roof for hospice care

An all ladies a capella choir will be raising the roof for St Richard’s Hospice later this month.

Evesham based Vale Connection will perform its Songs for Summer concert at Pershore Abbey on Saturday 16 June.

The chorus decided to support the hospice following the death of one of its members, Kate Hickman, aged just 35. 

Kate was diagnosed with a brain tumour in June 2016 and died in May 2018.

Sara Ashton, the group’s music co-ordinator said : “St Richard’s is a much appreciated resource to the local community and we would like to help by raising funds and awareness of the good work that it does.  We are really excited about our forthcoming concert.  We will be singing a varied programme of music in four part harmony a cappella.  It promises to be an unforgettable evening!”

The organisers are hoping to raise as much money as possible.

The event will welcome professional cellist and Worcestershire resident Joanne Jefferis; Joanne studied musical performance at Birmingham Conservatoire, participating in orchestral workshops with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle.  Her recording work includes solo playing for film scores including King Lear starring Brian Blessed.  She manages her own string quartet as well as private tuition for children and adults.

The event – which starts at 7.30pm and finishes at 10.00pm – will be compered by former BBC Midlands Today presenter, Bernadette Kearney.  Bernadette read music at the University of Surrey and plays the piano, guitar, violin and viola.

Charlie Homer, Fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice said : “We are really looking forward to Vale Connection’s Songs for Summer concert.  Everybody knows someone who has been affected by cancer and chorus members are no exception.  We rely on such events to help us provide crucial care and support to families during the hardest time of their lives.  Music is both powerful and uplifting and we look forward to a wonderful night!”

A capella means unaccompanied singing; the repertoire will include barbershop, modern and classic songs.

Tickets cost £10 plus a booking fee at Eventbrite; they can also be purchased from Blue, 19 Broad Street, Pershore or on the door for £12.

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative and end of life care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their loved ones. Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,300 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

The hospice strives to provide the best medical, practical, emotional and social support they can to help people live life to the fullest, as independently as they can, for as long as they can. They care for people with a range of illnesses including heart failure, Parkinson’s, and motor neurone disease as well as cancer. 

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations for three quarters of its annual £8.8m income with the remainder from the NHS.

St Richard’s has launched the Build 2020 Appeal which aims to raise the final £1.4m needed to build a bigger hospice, enabling more patients and families to be cared for in Worcestershire.  The total cost for expanding and redeveloping the existing building in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, is £5.3m.

For more information about St Richard’s Hospice visit