Gloria writes a weekly column for Ashfield Chad. Here is her entry from 1 November 2017.
Being homeless is terrible at any time, but when the cold, dark nights of winter draw in, it must be even worse.
Two Kirkby musicians who volunteer for the homelessness charity Framework have done something amazing to help people sleeping rough in the Nottinghamshire area.
Chris Lawry and Andrew Randell decided last year to write and record a single for Framework and after enlisting the help of orchestral musicians and singers, the Helping Hands project was born.
Chris, who is also a composer, wrote the track after visiting Kirkby Woodhouse Primary School to speak with Year 6 pupils about homelessness.
They brainstormed key words and ideas on the topic and Chris used these to write the lyrics of the song.
Over the next few months, each singer, choir and musician who wanted to be involved in the single separately recorded their part and the track was put together and then finished and mastered at the world famous Abbey Road Studios.
After nine months work and 300 participants later the song ‘Reach Out and Lend a Helping Hand’ was ready and everyone is hoping that it will do really well in the run up to Christmas, as it has a distinct Christmassy-feel.
The track will be available to buy in CD and download formats as well as in sheet music form from today and can be heard online on the website www.helpframework.com.
There is a big official launch event today, to which the press have been invited, and the children of Kirkby Woodhouse Primary will get to see the video of the single and then give a performance of it.
I am overwhelmed by the generosity of Chris and Andrew’s time and really hope that the single does well so that lots of money is raised for this fantastic charity.
Make sure you go and buy it!
While on the subject, I also want to highlight another excellent service based in Sutton that helps the homeless.
The self-help group based in the Sutton Christian Fellowship building on High Pavement provides friendship, advice and a warm drink and food for the homeless and others in need.
Its volunteers also help with benefits applications if people are struggling with the process.
It is open on Mondays and Tuesday from 9am until midday for tea and toast and Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9am until 11am with cooked breakfast.
The church’s Sunday evening service is 6pm.
Everything discussed is kept private and confidential.