A choir group from Hartford, Cheshire, has raised nearly £2,000 for charity Parkinson’s UK after releasing a lockdown fundraising video of their cover of the Coldplay classic ‘Fix You.’
The Bostock Singers were inspired by three members of the group who have been affected by Parkinson’s. The founder of the group, 77-year-old Shirley Barnwell and 74-year-old Glen Gidley are living with Parkinson’s. 66-year-old Jan Cox is affected as her husband Peter (76) is also living with the condition.
The 50 strong, mixed voice choir was founded in 2009 and in September 2019, the group chose Parkinson’s UK as their charity. When lockdown hit six months later, each choir member came out of their comfort zone to record themselves singing to a backing track created by accompanist Alison Richards. Nic Howbrigg, Musical Director, skillfully mastered the track and technical wizard and tenor Andy Martell edited the video. The group reached out to the virtual community last year, including a few Northwich based Facebook groups such as Northwich Life, offering them the opportunity to watch their lockdown video which has now been viewed on YouTube.
Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. It affects around 145,000 people in the UK, including 15,256 in the North West of England. There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety.
Shirley Barnwell said:
“I was fortunate to be born with a very sweet top soprano voice and spent quite a lot of my youth singing in cathedrals, churches and choirs across Europe. I decided to start an adult evening choir with our pianist Alison who was our singing tutor at the time and the Bostock Singers was founded in 2009. However, I had noticed my voice starting to deteriorate, as did my handwriting. I was devastated.
“Parkinson’s was initially diagnosed in 2006 and I was referred to the voice clinic. At the time it was pointed out to me that there was no cure for the condition and we needed to get more research funded. I am so grateful to everyone who has donated as this will help Parkinson’s UK find better treatments that could improve quality of life for people like me.”
Jan Cox said:
“The main benefit we get from Parkinson’s UK is the support and knowing we’re not alone. As members we receive a regular magazine full of practical help, articles written by people living with the condition, updates about fundraising and information on new scientific research. There is a helpline number at the back of the magazine which we have used a few times. The advice team is excellent, talking through our concerns or arranging for a Parkinson’s nurse to ring us back. It is a vital lifeline and funded by Parkinson’s UK.
“One of their main achievements is to make hospitals and care homes aware of the importance of giving Parkinson’s patients their medications on time. This is so important. It makes a huge difference to my husband who is now in a care home. If he doesn’t get his medication on time he cannot move or function properly. This is why I am so thankful to everyone who has donated to this cause which is so close to my heart.”
Parkinson’s UK is the largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research in Europe, leading the way in driving better care, treatments and quality of life for those with the condition.
Ann Rowe, Head of Regional Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said:
“We are so grateful to the Bostock Singers for taking on this amazing challenge for Parkinson’s UK.
“With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives. We’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, but there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough. Fundraisers like the Bostock Singers help us to drive forward the groundbreaking research we need to transform the lives of people affected by the condition.”
The video has so far raised £1,938. If you would like to sponsor the group, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bostock-singers1
About Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s UK
Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet.
Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Around 145,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s.
For more facts and statistics, please click here.
Further information, advice and support is available on our website, www.parkinsons.org.uk.
Pictured - The Bostock Singers have raised nearly £2,000 for Parkinson’s UK