Eden District Council’s Chairman, Cllr. Andrew Connell, is taking an unusual approach to charitable fund raising and is set to perform a string of hit songs from his huge repertoire at a charity coffee morning in the Council Chamber at Penrith’s Town Hall.
Cllr. Connell has been performing songs, sung to backing tracks, for the last twenty years, mostly for care home residents, staff and visitors, but also at parties for carers, partially sighted, Women’s Institutes and other groups.
Cllr. Connell said: “I have a repertoire of about 900 songs that encompasses old favourites from the 1940s through to the 1970s. Some I perform routinely, others on request. I was delighted, the other day, when a resident of a Penrith retirement home asked if I could sing a Helen Shapiro song. I certainly could, I' perform 80 songs from 1961, alone.”
In their charitable role, Council Chairs traditionally host dinners, auction promises, or abseil down tall buildings. However, Cllr. Connell feels more at home singing and has decided to put his years of performance experience to good use, in support of the Chairman’s two nominated charities, the Oaklea Trust and the Great North Air Ambulance.
Cllr. Connell also hopes the event will provide an opportunity for people to engage with Eden District Council on a social, rather than business level, saying: “Hopefully people will drop in for a coffee and to hear some of their favourite songs performed live in the wonderful surroundings of the Town Hall’s Victorian Council chamber. They can sing along and dance, if they feel like it. They’ll also be able to request songs, while helping to support two fantastic local charities.”
The Chairman’s charity coffee morning will be held in the Council Chamber of Penrith’s Town Hall on Friday 20 March, between 10am and 3pm. Entrance is free, though there will be a charge for teas and coffees. Donations are welcome and all proceeds will be divided between the Chairman’s two nominated charities.