Milestone marked with some festive cheer by ukelele group

Standing, L-R: Doug McLeod, Carol Bilverstone, Emma Sanders (Magpas), and Pauline McLeod. Seated, L-

Standing, L-R: Doug McLeod, Carol Bilverstone, Emma Sanders (Magpas), and Pauline McLeod. Seated, L-R: Bert Brown, Peter Weir, David Cammish, and Lynden Poole. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Upwood Ukuleles celebrated a fundraising milestone at their Christmas concert, held on December 21.

Since launching in 2013, the group has raised £30,000 for Magpas Air Ambulance and Emma Sanders, from the charity, was invited along to help mark the occasion and receive a cheque for a further £2,000, raised over the festive period by the group.

Upwood Village Hall was packed to hear the group perform numbers from their new festive CD entitled Upwood Ukuleles - With Bells On as well as a selection of Christmas classics.

The audience joined in with songs such as Jogging Along With Me Reindeer, Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake and We Wish You An UpU’s Merry Christmas as well as enjoying seasonal instrumentals played on a whole variety of ukuleles along with bowed psalteries, cajon, recorders, kazoos and even a trombone.

A ukulele-playing inflatable snowman made a surprise appearance during the band’s rendition of Walking In The Air and the concert concluded with a snowfall of white confetti at the end of Let It Snow.

A grand raffle and auction was held in aid of Magpas during the evening, raising a further £400. Prizes were kindly donated by local businesses, organisations and individuals with the final total raised from all the group’s activities over the Christmas period coming to more than £2,000.

Ms Sanders said: “Magpas Air Ambulance is not state funded and as a result relies entirely on donations from local communities to keep its lifesaving service operational 24/7 by land and by air.

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“Such incredible support from the Upwood Ukuleles has not only raised a phenomenal sum of money but also spread awareness of our work wherever they go. We are very lucky to have their support in this way and are proud of all they continue to achieve in our community. If you haven’t seen them please do so, you will be rewarded with an evening full of laughs from this very talented group.”

Upwood Ukuleles do not usually charge a performance fee but do request a suitable donation to their chosen charity, Magpas, in lieu of a fee.