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Local musician uses the power of music to raise thousands for charity

A FROME musician who has been using the power of music to raise money for charity since 2019, has raised over £28,000 for Fair Frome, We Hear You (WHY), as well as Bone Cancer Research Trust and Children with Cancer UK – and he plans to keep going.

Paul Kirtley has raised a total of £28,359 in his fundraising campaign, working with a collective of musicians called Tribe and a lineup of around 50 solo acts and local bands. They have played in various venues around Frome and surrounding towns, including a live music event in Victoria Park that Paul has organised for the last two years.

Beginning his fundraising journey by performing a three-hour human jukebox session in a church hall, Paul said, “Four years ago my daughter’s friend, who has had bone cancer for many years, asked us to help out at a fundraiser. The church was hosting a Nearly New Sale and I collected £13 but it didn’t deter me, I wanted to do something I enjoyed doing that could benefit people in need of support. Nearly four years later and having collected over £28,000, my decision to play pubs, clubs and outdoor venues was the right decision.”

In September 2019, Paul set up the We Don’t Scare Easy Tribe to raise funds for the charities Bone Cancer Research Trust and Children with Cancer UK. Paul said, “The tribe collected £6,000 for Bone Cancer Research Trust and £220 for Children with Cancer UK in year one.

“The Fair Frome Tribe was set up in 2020; I decided to focus on a local rather than a national charity and chose Fair Frome for fairly obvious reasons – putting food on tables for the less fortunate people in our community. The Fair Frome Tribe collected a further £6,470 in year two.

“The We Hear You (WHY) Tribe was set up in September 2021; I decided to support another lovely, local charity that helps people to deal with bereavement and associated health issues. We collected a further £8,617 in year three.

Surprise £2,000

 “A memorable moment is when I was given an envelope by a guest at one of my shows in Bath last year that contained a cheque for £2,000 from a mystery benefactor. It helped to raise over £8,600 last year for We Hear You.

“I then decided to go back to raising funds for Fair Frome in view of the cost-of-living crisis and the increasing demand for food banks and free meals. The Fair Frome Tribe has collected £7,052 so far. The current campaign is due to end on 30th September.

Covid-19 and the cost-of-living crisis have been challenging hurdles to navigate when it comes to fundraising. Paul added, “There are so many charities out there asking for help from people who are also struggling in their own way.”

When the Fair Frome Tribe campaign ends at the end of September Paul says he will either extend it until 31st December, or start it again for another local charity, as well as potentially rescheduling this year’s live music event that was due to be held for Fair Frome in Victoria Park, but was cancelled because of the weather.

Paul said, “Now for the very important bit which is to recognise all musicians who have joined me to create the various Tribe lineups in the last four years. On behalf of all the charities we have and continue to support, I’m sincerely grateful for all their support.”

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