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Charity single has the X-mas Factor

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You’ve heard of Band Aid and Children in Need, now behold the next big collaboration – the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust’s charity Christmas single! 

The original song, called Christmas Courage, is based on a poem written by Activities Coordinator, Maggie Boldan, and has been brought to life by graphic designer and budding music producer, John Slater.

The song aims to raise morale and festive cheer among staff and patients, and to also raise funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.

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Maggie, who has been keeping the Trust’s spirits up throughout the Covid period with her fantastic, funny and often touching poems, was tasked with writing the lyrics. While John, known for his musical talent and creative genius, arranged the song and video.

Maggie said: “When John Slater asked me to write a poem he could then turn into a song, I looked to the staff and our patients for inspiration. I’m really pleased with how the song has turned out. I cried when I heard it for the first time. It’s absolutely amazing to be involved in making something like this. I’ve never done it before, it’s brilliant. It’s just the morale booster we need right now and I hope it makes people smile.”  

John, who has worked around the clock to get the song ready for release, added: “We now know that most Christmas songs and videos are recorded much earlier in the year, but we were inspired to transform Maggie’s wonderful poem into a song, so we didn’t feel deterred by the tight deadline.

“We’ve worked around the clock to make it happen within days and thanks to some amazing singers from across the Trust who volunteered to lend their voices to the song, we’re managed to record it in time for Christmas. 

“It’s been an incredibly difficult year for our hardworking colleagues and we know that Covid-19 has touched the lives of many people in Rotherham. We hope our song lifts people’s spirits in the run up to Christmas. Thanks to all our colleagues who answered our call to sing at short notice. We hope you love listening to it – we’ve had a lot of fun making it.”

Maggie, who has worked on the Covid-19 wards, has seen first-hand how hard everyone has worked. She said: “It’s been emotional and heart-wrenching at times because our patients can’t see their loved ones in person. It’s been incredibly sad. But it’s also been amazing to see how hard working our staff have been. They have really pulled together in such difficult circumstances and I couldn’t be prouder. 

“It would be amazing if we could also raise some money for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity too. If people hear it and love it, please donate to the charity’s Christmas campaign. It really will make a difference.

‘Christmas Courage’ includes the voices of 11 Trust colleagues, who all recorded their vocals in a makeshift recording studio at Rotherham Hospital.

The song is being released to help raise funds for the Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity’s Virtual Christmas Collection Bucket challenge.

All the funds you help to raise will enable the charity to continue to fund the added extras which really make a difference to patients and their families in Rotherham and which the NHS would ordinarily not be able to afford. This could include everything from toys and an entertainer for the Children’s Ward to life-saving equipment. 

The charity’s festive fundraising campaign challenges Trust staff, Rotherham residents and businesses to rattle their collecting tins virtually rather than in person this year. The charity is looking for festive fundraisers to donate when they hear or download ‘Christmas Courage.’ Alternatively, fundraisers can set up their own virtual challenge such as a Christmas Jumper Day, a festive bake sale, a Santa Jog or simply donate what they would have spent on Christmas cards, their work Christmas party or mince pies this year.

To donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/RotherhamNHSVirtualChristmas

You can hear ‘Christmas Courage’ via Spotify, iTunes or Google Play once it is released on 14 December. You can see the lyrics here.

Emma Parkes, Director of Communications, said: “Not only are our colleagues incredibly caring and hard-working, they also show an amazing sense of team spirit, both in good times and in times of adversity. We know it’s been a tough year for many of them so I really welcome our new charity Christmas song.

“We don’t expect to out-rank the likes of Mariah Carey in the charts this Christmas but we do hope our staff and the people enjoy listening to it. If it does make you smile, please donate to the charity’s Christmas campaign if you can. All your donations will make a real difference in 2021.”

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The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trusthttp://www.therothehamft.nhs.uk/
The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust runs Rotherham Hospital and NHS services across the community.

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