A Shropshire teenager gathered a group of talented friends from across the county to stage a charity concert on Saturday, to help fund music and arts projects for vulnerable groups.
Around 80 people attended the concert, organised by thirteen-year-old Maddy Croall from Shrewsbury, and a total of £1,000 was raised through donations and match funding by Arts Council England.
The event took place at, and supported, The Hive in Shrewsbury, which uses money raised through its town centre venue to help deliver creative projects for young people in challenging situations.
Previous funded projects at The Hive have helped support young carers, armed forces’ families, teenagers addressing alcohol and substance misuse issues and young asylum seekers.
Maddy, who is a pupil at Adcote School, enlisted the help of theatrical friends including West End star, Amir Wilson, 13, who performed in London as young Simba in The Lion King, and Ruby Allen, a well-known Shrewsbury town busker, to perform at the ‘Sing for the Hive’ show.
Thanks to a partnership grant secured with Arts Council England, any money raised this year by the venue will also be doubled. Donations on the day amounting to £500 will, therefore, be doubled to £1,000 for the charity to fund future workshops and projects.
Maddy said: “The Hive does great things for young people, helping them through some really tough times using music and other creative activities. My friends and I love singing and performing, so I had the thought that we could use our talents to do a concert, raising money to go towards The Hive’s amazing work.
“It’s taken a lot of time and work to organise, but the concert went really well and we’re so pleased to have reached our fundraising target.”
Chief executive officer at The Hive, Katie Jennings, said: “We are so grateful to Maddy and her friends for staging this fantastic showcase of local talent to help The Hive. What an amazing amount they’ve raised.
“We rely heavily on the support of our local community to continue our valuable work with young people, and think it’s wonderful that Maddy and her friends wanted to help us by fundraising in this way.
“Our arts programmes work creatively with children and young people, some of whom are vulnerable or at risk, to help them develop confidence and self-esteem and realise their aspirations.
“This evening of music by local young people from across Shropshire was a great opportunity for people to come and enjoy our venue space, have a great night out with friends and family, and support the work we do across the region.”
As well as songs from Maddy, Amir and Ruby, the evening featured solo and group performances by young people from Key Theatre, Get Your Wigle On, Curtain Call and local schools.