As a proud Lancastrian, tenor Alfie Boe, shortly to take to the Broadway stage as Jean Val Jean in Les Miserables, is committed to a number of charities local to the area. As well as the Blackpool Male Voice Choir and the recently announced BD Music Hub, Boe is the patron of the Trinity Hospice which serves the Fylde Coast. In Spring 2014, the hospice's first annual tea party fundraiser took place, with Boe launching the appeal. As a result, the appeal raised a staggering £20,000 - that's a lot of tea and cake!
Now, in 2015, the hospice is hoping that the second year of the tea party campaign will yield just as much, if not more, funds to support the daily running costs of both hospices. £5 million is needed annually to fully support the work that the hospices do and while £20,000 might seem a very small part of that, it still goes a long way. To illustrate, £10 provides art materials for a terminally ill person to make a memory box for their loved ones, £150 runs Brian House (the children's hospice) for one hour, £500 provides eight bereavement sessions for a family and £1,500 means that a child can stay over the weekend, providing much needed respite care for both the child and the family.
In the face of these essential funds, it is just as essential that the charity's patron supports the fundraising campaigns. I recently interviewed Alfie aboutClassic Quadrophenia and Les Mis and also took the opportunity to ask about Trinity. Alfie was really pleased that his fans have been so supportive of Trinity and urged
everyone to go ahead and support this wonderful charity - have a cup of tea and enjoy yourselves.
To get an idea of the difference Alfie's fans make to Trinity, I spoke to Shirley Morgan from the hospice team recently and she was overwhelmed with the level of support from Alfie and his fans across the globe. Although most donations are from the local area, Shirley mentioned a substantial amount of donations from outside the area and many of these can be traced directly back to Alfie Boe fans. Shirley said that the hospice
couldn't have a better patron; we really appreciate the global audience he brings and to top it all, he's such a nice guy. But I don't know if he even drinks tea!In answer to this, Alfie's story of meeting his wife, Sarah, mentions the immortal chat up line "You can't get a decent cup of tea around here" as he was having difficulty with that very task at the time!
If you want to join Alfie in a cup of tea for Trinity, visit the Trinity website (click here) for inspiration.
This article first appeared on www.thoughtsofjustafan.com.