Ashfield local bangs the drum for kids’ cancer care charity

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The sounds of Sutton shook the Royal Albert Hall recently after a local woman carried tunes to London for a great cause.

Claire Burton, who lives locally and works for E.ON in Nottingham, took a break from the office to help run a special music project for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The energy firm is a leading sponsor of the Trust’s annual takeover at the Royal Albert Hall—a week of gigs headlined by the likes of The Who, Van Morrison and Noel Gallagher. Part of that deal provides music therapy for young people with cancer.

Patients from across the UK are invited to take part in the music workshops, where they have the opportunity to play instruments, write songs in the style of the artists performing in concert that night and form new friendships.

Claire jumped at the chance to be involved, supporting the workshop leaders and their brave new artists.

She said: “I signed up as soon as I heard we were getting behind the sessions. Like some of the young people involved, I don’t have a musical background, but it was more about encouraging those them to find their confidence and have a go.”

Most of the 150 people who took part in this year’s workshops are receiving treatment on a Teenage Cancer Trust ward. Since the initiative began, more than 2,000, aged 13-24, have shared in the experience.

The trust’s Stef Allen explained the benefits: “Participants tell us just how much they get out of the sessions—from meeting other young people who understand their recent experiences in a fun and relaxed setting, to taking their minds off cancer treatment by spending time trying out different instruments.”

For those helpers like Claire, there is also a lot to take home. “Being part of the workshop was both a humbling and uplifting experience, and one I don’t think I’ll forget,” Claire said.

“To witness these young people, who didn’t know each other, come together and compose and then perform their song was a privilege.”

E.ON employees have raised over £45,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust since it became the company’s official charity in July 2014.

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