Concert for Ukraine at St Mary’s Church

By IW Mar 31, 2022

A ‘Concert for Ukraine’ held in St Mary’s Church, Brighstone, on Sunday (March 20) has raised a total of £3,000 with government match-funding.

The concert was organised by Chris Biggs and Rev Jackie Maw and attended by around 100 people. It included music from Brighstone Belles, The Seashells, Brighstone Barnacles as well as poetry from Ruth Lockyer and a variety of other performers. Master of ceremonies was Don Appleby.

Chris, a member of the Brighstone Belles, explained: “Jackie contacted me and asked me for help, so I immediately set about emailing my local contacts and got a hugely positive reaction.

“It was all organised in a couple of weeks and just started expanding. The WI contacted me and said they would make cakes, and parishioners were on hand to help serve the refreshments.

“One of the people who contributed to the concert was Ruth Lockyer, whose daughter-in-law, Olia, is Ukrainian but, thankfully, safe in the UK. However, Olia still has family trapped over there and it is a very worrying time for her. It just made the event more personalised.”

Jackie, who contracted Covid a few days before the event and was unable to attend, added: “As the plight of the refugees began to be reported, I wanted to respond in a way that would bring the community together, not only to raise money but to stand in solidarity in some way with the people of Ukraine.

“We have a lot of musical talent in West Wight and music and poetry has the power not only to bring us together but to give public voice to the pain and anger that we feel at injustice and tyranny.

“The idea was to ask people who could perform at the drop of a hat and we organised the concert in just over two weeks. To date we have raised around £1,500 which will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee, and, as the government is match-funding, our £1,500 becomes £3,000.”