Trio of ukulele groups raise thousands for charity

Ukulele players have raised more than £17,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Over the past year Worcester Ukulele Club has collected almost £14,000 for the charity which is working hard to transform the future of those affected by the disease.

At its weekly meeting at Worcester University, club chairman, Rob Phillips handed over a cheque for £13,756 to the charity.

This money is the amazing result of 85 gigs performed by the club’s players over the past 12 months. It brings the total of cash raised for different charities by the ukulele group to an astonishing £82,322 since 2013. Rob said:

“The club has gone from strength to strength in its fundraising activities and it is wonderful that the generosity of the public is such that we are able to raise these funds while we are all enjoying ourselves playing.

“Long may it continue and we hope to raise similar amounts in the future. Thanks must go to the dedication of our members who turn out in all conditions to entertain and raise funds for well-deserving charities”.

Pancreatic Cancer UK was successfully nominated as the club charity for 2022 by John Henley, a player whose wife, Lesley, sadly died from the disease.

Mr Henley is also a member of ‘Ukes On The Edge’ in Kinver and over the last 14 months they have raised £3,450 with various gigs in Kinver, such as at the Farmers Market and the Jubilee celebrations.

Much of the money from Ukes on the Edge has been paid into Mr Henley’s Just Giving page which now totals almost £11,000 from three years of events such as ukulele playing and pub quizzes. Malvern Ukulele Club has also raised money for PCUK.

Over the last 12 months Worcester Ukulele Club Pancreatic Cancer UK fundraising gigs have ranged from playing in residential homes, at fetes and birthday parties to the Victorian Christmas Fair, at music festivals and in parks.

On occasions there were two or three bookings in one day and players had gone from one to another. Mr Henley added: 

"I am immensely proud and grateful to all who have given time, energy and performing skills all for free to support this charity.

“From personal experience I know why it’s work is needed and can only hope we have helped the journey towards a test to identify the disease earlier and finally a cure. Well done the ukulele community!"

Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers and the number of deaths is increasing. The five-year survival rate is less than seven percent. Margaret Datson, is an ambassador for the charity. She said:

“It’s a wonderful amount to receive on behalf of Pancreatic Cancer UK. The charity uses monies raised to support and give information to people affected by pancreatic cancer; to fund a variety of research projects including studies into early diagnosis and improving treatment and care, and to campaign for change.” 

Worcester Ukulele Club members have already voted and selected their charity for the next 12 months – Acorns Children’s Hospice. 

Acorns has cared for 732 children in the past year and supported 945 families across the West Midlands, including those who are bereaved. They provide support to parents and carers, siblings and grandparents too.


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