Jul 062017
 

With thanks to Clare Scott, Communications Consultant, CJS Communication & Marketing.

A local family charity has received a two-year pledge of support from the Aberdeen branch of Rathbones, a leading investment management company.

Home-Start Aberdeen has recently benefited from a £5,000 donation towards its work with vulnerable families in 2017. This donation will be repeated in 2018 after the scheme was selected by the Rathbones Aberdeen as its nominated charity.

Employees from Rathbones also plan to augment the initial donation by getting involved with additional fundraising activities over the next 24 months.

Meera Dennis, investment director at Rathbones said:

“We are aware of the work that Home-Start Aberdeen does to support families in our local communities, who may be struggling as a result of various challenges and circumstances beyond their control.

“The cause resonated with many of our team members and we are looking forward to deepening our involvement with Home-Start Aberdeen – and our understanding of their various support services – over the coming period.”

The support from Rathbones comes at a pivotal point in Home-Start Aberdeen’s history; the charity is currently celebrating 30 years of support for families in the city, however it faces the challenge of a growing waiting list.

Georgette Cobban (pictured), Home-Start Aberdeen’s scheme manager said:

“This new pledge of two years of support from Rathbones is incredibly welcome and very much appreciated.

“Home-Start Aberdeen currently has over 100 volunteers, who are working with more families than ever before, but we still desperately need to recruit and train more. Our third volunteer preparation course of the year is set to take place in August. The amount donated by Rathbones will enable us to deliver this crucial training with a view to helping families on our waiting list as soon as possible.”

Home-Start Aberdeen supports around 220 families and 360 children each year and is one of the largest Home-Start schemes in the UK. Its trained volunteers work with referred families to help them access relevant health and welfare services, manage family budgets and nutrition, engage with their communities and enjoy family life again.

Further information is available at www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

 
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Jul 032017
 

With thanks to Ian McLaren, PR account manager, Innes Associates.

(L to R) Sarah Harker and Moira Gash of DeeTour and VisitScotland regional director Jo Robinson.

A pair of Aberdeenshire entrepreneurs have launched a new tourist guidebook aimed at attracting more visitors to Royal Deeside.
Moira Gash and Sarah Harker, who run tour and activities business DeeTour alongside their own separate businesses, have created the Royal Deeside PassporTour, a pocketsize guide showcasing things to see and do in the Aberdeenshire valley.

The pair previously worked for tourism body Visit Royal Deeside.

Aimed at national and international visitors and locals alike, the 128-page book highlights the diversity of the area’s tourism offering. The guide was created after local tourism businesses called for this type of publication.

With stunning scenery, a wealth of locally produced food and drink, and an array of tourist attractions, golf courses and outdoor activities to enjoy, Royal Deeside has something for visitors of all ages. The book is designed to provide a comprehensive insight for those planning a trip to the area, while also acting as a guide and money saving tool as they explore the region.

Along with highlighting key tourist attractions and profiling the amenities and activities on offer in each of the main towns, the guide features interviews with local artists, tour guides, musicians, sportspeople and tourism professionals, helping to bring the region to life. A golf trail and a tea and cake trail each present further incentives to explore Royal Deeside, with participating businesses offering discounts to customers.

The history, heritage and culture of Royal Deeside and Scotland is also outlined, and a handy summary of Doric words will help visitors to grasp some of the basics of the distinctive north-east dialect.

Priced at £9.95, the Royal Deeside PassporTour provides purchasers with over £200 worth of savings through the 23 vouchers and two trails that it features.

The guidebook is also suitable for local families looking for inspiration for things to do during the summer holidays. Vouchers include 15% off at Go Ape at Crathes Castle, 50% off at Battlegrounds Paintball, two for one entry to Braemar Castle and 20% off day rover tickets at the Deeside Railway.

Co-director of DeeTour, Moira Gash, said:

“The Royal Deeside PassporTour aims to allow travellers to make informed choices as they plan their trip to Aberdeenshire and also act as a reference tool while they are visiting. Thanks to its royal connection, Deeside draws visitors from around the world and we’ve had interest in the guide from far and wide.

“Not only is it suitable for those visiting the area for the first time, but the huge savings offered by the featured businesses makes it a fantastic tool for locals. For families planning day trips during the summer holidays, the savings on offer at Go Ape at Crathes Castle and Battlegrounds’ paintballing, near Banchory, more than cover the cost of the book.”

The initiative has received the backing of VisitScotland, and was showcased at this year’s Royal Highland Show as part of the Aberdeenshire Village display, where it was given an enthusiastic reception from show visitors.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland regional director, said:

“I think the Royal Deeside PassporTour is a great idea to inform visitors coming to beautiful Royal Deeside of the vast array of attractions, entertainment, locations and handy hints and tips, as well as locals looking for ideas for the summer holidays.

“Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland works with local industry to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the regional visitor economy. We need to think big about Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as a tourism destination to ensure we fulfil our potential – every visitor must get a quality experience, every single time.

“The Royal Deeside PassporTour reveals some of Aberdeenshire’s best-loved places as well as its hidden gems, and is a fantastic celebration of everything that this charming corner of the world has to offer visitors.”

Copies of the Royal Deeside PassporTour can be purchased from a number of businesses in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire or online at www.deetour.co.uk.

DeeTour is an Aberdeenshire-based tour and activities business that was established by business partners Moira Gash and Sarah Harker. The business provides bespoke tour and activity packages to help visitors explore Aberdeenshire. In 2017, DeeTour launched the Royal Deeside PassporTour, a new guidebook highlighting the wealth of things to see, do and sample in the region. The pocketsize book, which costs £9.95, includes over 20 vouchers that provide more than £200 of discounts at local business. 

Further information about DeeTour and the Royal Deeside PassporTour can be found at www.deetour.co.uk.

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Jun 232017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

From left to right: Pat Ramsay, Myles Edwards, Phil Anderson, and Louise Dingwall.

A North-east financial services company has helped to provide Kenyan children with opportunities for a better future through a charitable donation.

Phil Anderson Financial Services, which has offices in Ellon, Aberdeen and Caithness, recently donated £500 to the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, a charity that supports disadvantaged kids in the east African country of Kenya.

Through its sponsorship of the Charity Open at Oldmeldrum Golf Club, the firm selected the Gathimba Edwards Foundation as a beneficiary, due to the charity’s dedication towards improving the lives of almost 250 poverty-stricken Kenyan children.

To date, the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, founded by Aberdonian Myles Edwards and Kenyan international Gideon Gathimba, has built 17 homes for over 70 children and provided education opportunities, shelter, clothing and food to 243 kids across Kenya.

Phil Anderson Financial Services regularly supports numerous charities and community initiatives across the North-east. Last year, the business was recognised for its charitable efforts and was awarded with the Small Business Big Heart Award for its support of the Aberdeen Cyrenians.

Since the firm was launched in 2011, its staff has raised over £10,000 for a large number of local charities and causes, including Diabetes Scotland, Aspire and Aberdeen Cyrenians.

Phil Anderson, managing director of Phil Anderson Financial Services, said:

“After hearing about the Gathimba Edwards Foundation and all the fantastic work they’ve managed to achieve in such a short space of time, I thought it was only right to get behind this truly worthwhile cause.

“Supporting those that are less fortunate is something that both myself and my staff are all very passionate about. We are all looking forward to hearing about the charity’s next project and how the donation will help make a difference to the lives of many disadvantaged children across Kenya.”

Founder of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, Myles Edwards, said:

“We are hugely grateful for the incredibly generous support from Phil and his team, as it is going to be life-changing for our children.

“There are a number of families who desperately need houses built for them, as they are currently living in iron sheet structures with no walls. We are able to build two-bedroom houses with furniture and electricity for under £3,000, so £500 is absolutely huge for us.

“Phil does so much for numerous charities and causes in both the North-east and abroad, so it really is a big honour that he has chosen to support our kids.”

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Jun 162017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

Primary school pupils have been working to add their own splash of colour in Aberdeen by sowing seeds for a city centre wildflower meadow. Alongside representatives from Aberdeen Inspired, a class of 22 P6 pupils from Hanover Street School have planted wildflower seeds on the grassy area where Bridge Street becomes College Street.

The aim of the session was to create greater biodiversity in the area while also encouraging community involvement in city centre activities.

Last year, children from Hanover Street Nursery also planted crocuses at the St Nicholas Centre rooftop garden.

Following the seed sowing, it is hoped that the school will take over looking after the wildflower meadow as part of Aberdeen Inspired’s ‘Adopt an Area’ initiative.

The organisation has played a key role in identifying areas within the city centre which could benefit from a refresh with the hope of making them more visually attractive and appealing to use.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“We were delighted to invite children from Hanover Street Primary School to help us plant a wildflower meadow beside College Street which will brighten up the space in the coming weeks.

“As well as teaching them a bit about nature, this session was important to introduce a variety of wild flowers to the area. Increasing biodiversity in the city centre is very important and we are keen to encourage more projects like this.

“We are passionate about creating a more vibrant and appealing city centre and believe efforts like this, which involve working with school children, are hugely important in achieving that.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID (Business Improvement District) operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district and drive increased footfall to the area.

More information about Aberdeen Inspired is available online at: www.aberdeeninspired.com

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Jun 022017
 

With thanks to Ian McLaren, PR account manager, Innes Associates.

Andy Buchan and James Farquhar of Hiretech with Michelle Ferguson from Cash for Kids.

An Aberdeenshire man has raised over £1,000 to help support sick, disabled and disadvantaged children living in north-east Scotland.
Andy Buchan, managing director of oil and gas equipment rental, service and maintenance firm Hiretech Limited, presented Aberdeen-based charity Cash for Kids with £1,076.50 following a series of fundraising events.

The big-hearted businessman used the occasion of his 50th birthday to raise money for the local children’s charity, requesting donations in lieu of presents. 

A subsequent fundraising motorcycle ride with friends and colleagues to the west coast helped to swell the final total.

Eight fellow bikers joined Andy on the return trip from Hiretech’s office at Hatton of Fintray to Applecross, with the route also taking in Ullapool and the Bealach na Ba. On the 450-mile journey the bikers received light-hearted fines for any misdemeanours and breakdowns. Andy stipulated that all bikes should be pre-1979 models, a rule he himself broke – and was fined for – by choosing to ride a 1986 Yamaha RD125LC.

The group was supported on the trip by Hiretech apprentice engineer James Farquhar. His services were put to use within minutes of the journey commencing when one of the bikes broke down around two miles outside Hatton of Fintray.

A keen motorcyclist, Andy has supported many charitable causes in recent years and was inspired to support Cash for Kids due to its local nature, with all funds being raised and distributed in the north-east. Andy first became aware of Cash for Kids 20 years ago when he played the guitar in a friend’s punk band at an event that raised money for the children’s charity.

Cash for Kids will use the donation to help fulfil applications to its unique quarterly grant funding programme. The scheme provides grants to individuals, families and community groups to support children and improve their quality of life. Applications need to be endorsed by a third party, such as a social worker or health visitor, and the deadline for applications in the current quarter is Wednesday, 19 July.

Michelle Ferguson, Cash for Kids charity manager, said:

“We are very grateful to Andy and his family, friends and colleagues for their generosity. The bike trip sounds like it was an eventful journey from the outset and illustrates how fun and imaginative fundraising can be.

“Andy’s efforts will enable Cash for Kids to continue to support a wide range of children, families and community groups in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.  Our aim is to improve the life quality of these children, whether that is a result of disability, illness or poverty.”

Andy added:

“Cash for Kids makes a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and their families in the north-east every year. The funding it provides can be invaluable. I am very thankful to everyone who has helped me to fundraise for the charity over the past month, particularly those who were penalised for their unknown misdemeanours on our bike ride.”

To help fulfil future applications to its grant funding programme, Cash for Kids is running a major appeal throughout 2017. It is encouraging 500 people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to sign up to its 500 Faces campaign and commit to each raising £100 before the end of December 2017. Further information is available at www.northsound1.com/faces.

Cash for Kids is an Aberdeen-based charity that works to improve the lives of sick, disabled and disadvantaged children and young people under 18 living in north-east Scotland. The community-focused organisation is Northsound Radio’s listeners’ charity. Along with running a number of campaigns throughout the year, including its annual Mission Christmas children’s gift appeal, Cash for Kids operates a unique quarterly grant giving programme. 

Grants are made to individuals, families, children’s groups, organisations and projects throughout the Northsound transmission area. All of the money that is distributed to these local families and projects has been raised locally.

More information on Cash for Kids can be found at www.northsound1.com/cashforkids or telephone 01224 337010.

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Jun 022017
 

With thanks to Clare Scott, Communications Consultant, CJS Communication & Marketing.

An Aberdeen-based family support charity is using Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June 2017) as a springboard to successfully conclude its 30th anniversary campaign to recruit 30 new volunteers within 30 weeks.

Home-Start Aberdeen has been supporting families who are vulnerable, or who may be at risk of isolation, for the past three decades.

This support is largely provided by volunteers, who are trained by the charity and matched with a family who they visit on a weekly basis.

Having started life as a small project operating from a box room within Mastrick Church, Home-Start Aberdeen is now one of the largest Home-Start schemes in the UK.

The charity provides over 220 families and 360 children with around 27,500 hours of support each year, however it continues to operate a growing list of those who are in need of help.

“We have had a tremendous response to our 30 in 30 campaign since launching it in February,” said Georgette Cobban, scheme manager (pictured).

“Our second new cohort of volunteers are currently undergoing training, which will bring our tally to 20 out of the 30 new volunteers we would like to recruit by September.

“We plan to run our next volunteer preparation course in August and we would urge anyone who thinks they might be interested to get in touch for an informal chat. Full training is provided by Home-Start Aberdeen – all we ask for is a time commitment of 2-3 hours per week to provide a local family with emotional and practical support in their home setting.”

For further information on volunteering opportunities with Home-Start Aberdeen, email volunteering@homestartaberdeen.org.uk or telephone 01224 693545.

Home-Start Aberdeen is a voluntary organisation, offering support and friendship to vulnerable families. Its small staff team trains and co-ordinates over 100 volunteers who provide families with emotional and practical support in their own homes. Those who are referred to the charity must live within the city and have at least one child under five years old, otherwise there are no barriers to access. To find out more, visit www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk.

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May 122017
 

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Disengaged young people living in Aberdeen are being supported to reach their potential through a range of award-winning urban sports and culture programmes that have received a four figure boost from Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation.

Transition Extreme’s renowned youth projects combine its extreme sports and arts offering with essential skills and offer a spring board for disengaged and disadvantaged young people to move their lives onwards in a positive direction.

The donation from the Aberdeen Charity Committee of the global finance management company will support Transition Extreme in delivering its youth and community programmes like its Alternative, Outreach and Extreme Arts Academies.

The youth charity provides coaching in activities like BMX biking, skating, climbing wall, high ropes and art and design and adds in valuable life skills training, which helps increase confidence and motivation among young people who have become disengaged from traditional forms of education.

One of its longest running programmes, the Alternative Academy, works with 15-18 year olds that have become disconnected with mainstream education, training or employment. Working with agencies including social work, police and education, the Academy is designed to provide supports coaching which supports physical and mental health, complemented by soft skills workshops where employers provide support with essential skills like how to prepare for an interview, CV writing, applying for a job and fitting into a team.

Sam Begg (pictured above), fundraising manager for Transition Extreme said:

“Aberdeen Asset Management’s kind donation will help our youth work team deliver vital work and programmes tailored towards helping  disadvantaged and disengaged youngsters make positive life transitions.

“Our facility has a cool dynamic and buzz that appeals to young people who feel comfortable about coming here. As well as the sports side which is fun, we help deliver soft skills which helps towards future employability. People learn in different ways, not just sitting at a desk, and it’s encouraging to have young people come here and gain new skills. We practice what we preach as 25% of our workforce has joined us from these academies.”

Claire Drummond, head of charitable giving at Aberdeen Asset Management said:

“Transition Extreme is a well-known Aberdeen centre which offers a whole range of urban sports and is a real focus for the youth of the city.

“The programmes delivered by its Youth Work Teams are helping to build up self-belief and confidence among young people and offer an important part in the process towards helping them into further education, training or work.

“The support from our Aberdeen Charity Committee will help continue the good work of investing in positive life transitions for young people of Aberdeen.”

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects.

The main focus of the Foundation is around emerging markets and local communities, reflecting the desire to give back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the historic pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work. For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home

Transition Extreme is located at Aberdeen Beachfront and  its facilities are open to the public. As well as a range of training programmes for young people, it runs outreach  projects in Aberdeen communities.

More information is available from its website http://www.transition-extreme.com

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May 052017
 

Holiday fun at Over The Wall’s Scottish Summer Camp last year.

With thanks to Esther Green, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

A charity which gives children and young people living with serious health challenges a holiday to help them discover a whole new world of possibilities is laying on an extra place for a deserving North-east youngster – thanks to the support of Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charities Foundation.

Gaining £1800 from the Aberdeen charities committee has enabled Over The Wall to provide an additional place at its 2017 Scotland camp for a seriously ill child living in Aberdeenshire.

The therapeutic recreation activity camp, for children aged 8-17 with serious and life limiting illnesses, takes place at Strathallan School in Perthshire in July.

Since 1999 many of the UK’s most seriously ill children have been able to go swimming, catch their first fish, dance in the sunshine, perform centre stage and create the memories of a lifetime with Over The Wall. The self-esteem and confidence of  campers sky-rockets as they learn that they are not combating childhood diseases alone.

The small national charity provides free residential activity camps for children and their families and through participation in a proven programme of fun-filled recreational and educational activities, the camps help promote inclusion whilst developing the confidence, self-esteem, coping strategies and peer relationships of all their campers.

The mum of a teenage boy who attended last year’s Scottish camp said of the experience:

“He had an amazing time, he returned more confident, happy and relaxed. For the first time he was able to enjoy activities and forget about his illness. I am a very happy Mum!”

Julie Foster, Trusts and Foundations Fundraiser for Over The Wall said:

“The camps enable the children to reach beyond their illness to rediscover a whole new world of possibilities and we rely on donations like this one from Aberdeen Asset Management, along with volunteer support,  to help us give children a week of experiences that are memorable, exciting, fun and empowering, in a physically safe and medically sound environment.”

Claire Drummond, head of charitable giving forAberdeen Asset Management said:

“Through the support of the Aberdeen Committee we are giving a local child the chance to attend camp, create memories for a lifetime and build their self-esteem and confidence at the same time. We are proud to be able to provide support in the local community in which we operate in this way.”

Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects.

The main focus of the Foundation is around emerging markets and local communities, reflecting the desire to give back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the historic pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work.

For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home

For full details of  Over The Wall visit http://www.otw.org.uk

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Apr 202017
 

With thanks to Ian McLaren, PR account manager, Innes Associates.

Michelle Ferguson, Cash for Kids charity manager.

An Aberdeen-based children’s charity has distributed over £17,500 of funding to 24 families and community groups to improve the lives of children living in north-east Scotland.
Cash for Kids, which supports sick, disabled and disadvantaged children living in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, has made the awards as part of its quarterly grant funding programme.

The programme’s broad remit ensures the charity is able to fulfil a diverse range of applications each year, some of which are not eligible for funding from other sources.

Two of the beneficiaries in the recent funding round are the Community Resources Hub at Aboyne Academy and local charity KidsOut – both provide activities for children with physical and learning disabilities.

The Community Resources Hub at Aboyne Academy caters for children with medium to severe and complex educational needs.
Unable to participate in mainstream education, they are taught a life skills orientated curriculum that meets their individual needs. The hub has been granted over £300 to give the children a one-day sailing session at Loch of Skene with Aberdeenshire Sailing Trust.

This session will allow the children to sample a new activity and develop their self-esteem and personal and social skills.

KidsOut is a local charity run by 17 Rotary clubs based in Aberdeen and the surrounding area.

The charity has received £3,500 to help stage its annual fun day at Craibstone Estate. Last year, around 600 children with disabilities from 35 local primary schools attended the event and enjoyed a range of activities and experiences. The funding will be used to help cover the cost of transporting the children to the event in June.

Cash for Kids distributes grant funding at the end of January, April, July and October each year, with applications assessed by its board. All applications must be endorsed by a third party, such as a social worker or health visitor, and applications for the next funding round must be submitted by Wednesday, 19 April.

Last month, in order to help fulfil future applications, Cash for Kids launched a major appeal to raise £50,000. The 500 Faces campaign looks to recruit 500 people from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire who will each commit to raise £100 for the charity by the end of December. A number of tradespeople, schoolchildren and local shops have already signed up to the initiative.

Michelle Ferguson, Cash for Kids charity manager, said:

“Cash for Kids’ quarterly grant funding programme is a central and important part of what the charity does. We look to support as diverse a range of requests as possible each quarter and encourage applications from across the region.

“All of the money Cash for Kids raises is distributed locally. It is always great to assist projects such as those run by Aboyne Academy and KidsOut that provide disabled children with fantastic new experiences that can help with their development.

“The grant programme gives families and community groups access to a source of funding that can support the purchase of items that are often not eligible for funding through other sources. For some families that can mean facilitating the purchase of specialist equipment to improve the quality of life of their sick or disabled child.”

To register to take part in Cash for Kids’ 500 Faces fundraising initiative, visit www.northsound1.com/faces.

Cash for Kids is Northsound Radio’s listeners’ charity. It makes grants to individuals, families, children’s groups, organisations and projects throughout the Northsound transmission area. All money is raised locally and spent locally to benefit local disabled and disadvantaged children and young people under 18.

More information on Cash for Kids can be found at www.northsound1.com/charity, or telephone 01224 337010.

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Apr 112017
 

With thanks to Matthew Duncan.

A musical extravaganza is set to take place to pay tribute to a brave North-east youngster.

Sam Dorrance of Stonehaven had just started Dunnottar Primary School in August 2015 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Sam battled bravely for 11 months but sadly passed away last July.

A tribute event has now been planned to play some of Sam’s favourite songs and raise money for Super Sam’s Fund for the Brain Tumour Charity.

The show will take place at Stonehaven’s Station Hotel on Friday 12th May where award winning Aberdeen country band The Malpaso Gang will be joined onstage by Sam’s dad, Graeme Dorrance.

Graeme said:

“Sam loved music and these songs were a big part of his life. This show is an opportunity for us to play some of his favourites and raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity in the process.”

Tickets for the show are available now, costing £15 (including food) with all funds raised going to Super Sam’s Fund for the Brain Tumour Charity

For ticket info email Graeme.dorrance@me.com