Silver Band Concert in Aid of Motor Neurone Disease

Almost 2 years ago we were devastated with the news that my husband John had been given the diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 47. Having to tell our 2 boys, Adam and Ben (at the time aged 8 and 11) that their father had MND, was probably the worst news that I have ever had to break to anyone. The boys are fully aware of MND and since have become big supporters of MNDA.

Silver Band flag

Back in February my youngest son Ben joined the People’s Mission Junior Band, as he plays cornet. I joined the People’s Mission Senior Band as a flugelhorn player. The bands are both run by People’s Mission Church at South Shields, and we have made some amazing supportive friends.

When members of the junior band found out that Ben had decided to do the Walk 2 d’feet MND they decided to join Ben, and even held a mini concert at the half way point. Junior band really encouraged him and kept him going on his walk, taking photos with mobile phones and selfie sticks.

In total Ben managed to raise £462 and junior band another £140 on top of that! People’s Mission support didn’t stop there. One Friday night at band practice we were told that People’s Mission Bands had chosen to support MNDA in their annual summer charity concert. I managed to hold it together until I broke the news to Ben in the car.

We found it really quite overwhelming that we have such supportive friends and was quite an emotional moment. Quite ironically the concert was held on my husband’s birthday, so Ben had great pleasure in telling his dad he was taking him to a MNDA charity concert for his birthday.

Silver Band conductor

The concert took place in the People’s Mission Church. The junior band were the real stars of the show. With an average age around 10 years old, they were fantastic and it was Ben’s first concert playing his cornet. Their favourite pieces consisted of Pirates of the Caribbean and James Bond. It was also total luck that I also managed to hit the high notes of my solo “How great thou art”.

The emotional point in the concert was at the end when we played “you’ll never walk alone”, while selfies taken by the children on their sponsored walk were displayed on the large projector in the church. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the band. The concert managed to raise £550 in total going to MNDA. We would personally like to thank People’s Mission for all the help and support they have given us.

–Catherine Sweeney

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