Verwood Concert Brass used the occasion of its spring concert on 18 April to present a cheque for £1,000 to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Service. But this was no ordinary charitable donation but one that had special meaning for band member Robin Lock.
Back in May 2014 Robin, age 56, was taken seriously ill at work which resulted in the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance rushing him to Southampton General Hospital where he underwent emergency open heart surgery for a life threatening aortic condition.
Thankfully Robin has now made a full recovery including playing in the band. However, during his convalescence, on doctor’s orders he was not allowed to play his cornet for five months, a great hardship given that Robin has had a lifetime of cornet playing, which included playing on the original recording of ‘The Floral Dance’.
Band conductor, Kevin Smith, explained to the packed audience, “Every year Verwood Concert Brass nominates a charity to receive a donation from collections made during the bands many Christmas carolling events. It was easy to choose our charity this year, The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Service, and it is a great pleasure to ask Robin Lock to come and present the cheque for £1,000 to Philip Reeves of the HIOW Air Ambulance Service.”
In presenting the cheque Robin said, “I cannot express how grateful I am to the Air Ambulance Service as without them I am sure I wouldn’t be here today. It is incredible that the service receives no state or NHS funding and survives purely on voluntary donations, so it is an honour to do our bit to help.”
As well as the £1,000 donation from the band, the audience dug deep during the interval raising a further £246. Philip Reeves said, “As well as spending an extremely enjoyable evening of musical entertainment, I was taken aback by the massive level of support shown by your band members and the audience, so one huge thank you to all.”
Charitable activity for the band doesn’t stop there. On Saturday 9 May there will be a ‘Blushing Brass’ Charity Concert performed by a special Verwood Concert Brass Ladies band together with nationally renowned ladies fund raising band ‘Boobs and Brass’ all in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Tickets £8 available from The Hub, Verwood on 01202 828740.