Christmas concert to raise funds for families facing seasonal hardship

Gina Fergione, at the middle, & The Hackney Songbirds Choir. Pic: Melody Chan.

A collaborative ‘Christmas Concert’ organised by the Cambridge Heath Salvation Army and community singing group Hackney Songbirds, will fundraise for children going without this Christmas and provide warm spaces for families.

The concert will be held on December 9 in Mare Street, Hackney.

Lieutenant Gav Dunn, church leader of the Cambridge Heath Salvation Army, told Eastlondonlines: “This year we are doing a Christmas toy appeal. So we’re doing a number of things to… raise either the funds or get people to donate toys for people in Hackney that otherwise would go without or have very little Christmas.”  

He added: “I guess coming into a warm space is probably quite attractive. But in terms of the concert, I think [it’ll get people] in the Christmas spirit. [There’ll be] Christmas songs and a few core numbers.”  

The concert hall can hold around 80 people and everyone is welcome to join the event. Dunn hoped to raise “as much as possible” from it, he said: “[The Salvation Army] being a church and a charity. Everything we raise…goes back into the community. And we’re going to need to…put on events [for] several reasons. [Raising] funds to help us…meet needs in the local community, but also [with] the heating and the price of food…fundraise to have this space open for people to come in.” 

Gina Fergione, one of the directors of the concert and the founder of Hackney Songbirds, said the choir has previously fundraised for St. Joseph’s hospice. She said: “They [the choir] work really hard. They like to have a concert, they like to have something to work towards, to be seen, to be recognised.” 

She added: “It’s the uplifting nature of singing that really helps everybody.”  

Lucy Meyers, another organiser of the event, said: “We’re very excited about our Christmas concert, as it will be the choir’s first live performance since Christmas 2019. We do generally use our concerts to fundraise for a good cause…helping the vulnerable at Christmas feels very relevant.” 

The Cambridge Heath Salvation Army is running more free Christmas activities for the Hackney community. They tweeted yesterday about “the flyer for our Child and Family Christmas Activities” with the agenda to “hear stories, sing songs and take part in craft activities as we explore Christmas together.” The following events include a Christmas Carol Service on December 18, and a child craft morning on December 20.  

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