Youngsters in care record festive charity album

NYAS members Steff Killack, Jo King and Nicky Gooden recording the CD.

NYAS members Steff Killack, Jo King and Nicky Gooden recording the CD. - Credit: Archant

A group of young people in foster care have produced a Christmas album to raise money for a Huntingdon charity.

The eight children, aged from 12 to 18, were joined by their independent visitors and staff from Ermine Business Park charity National Youth Advocacy (NYAS) staff to create the three-track CD at Lorna Ballard’s Pop and Rock Parties studio, which was launched on Friday.

NYAS trains volunteers aged 18 and over to become “independent visitors” and matches them with children in local authority care to provide friendship or mentoring and the proceeds from the CD sales will help pay for visits for the children.

Nicky Gooden, independent visit coordinator, said: “We came up with the idea and put it in our newsletter but we didn’t get much of a response, until we starting calling the children.

“It’s always been an activity we’d like to do with the children and we asked them which songs they’d like to sing and there were some that had lyrics we wouldn’t want to have on the CD.

“We played a lot of songs on YouTube before coming up with a few ideas. We did want to do Frozen but Lorna said it would be too difficult.”

They settled for Shine by Take That, Marry You by Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off.

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“Taylor Swift is a lot faster than you think and Bruno Mars was a car crash at first,” said Ms Gooden. “There was a lot of giggles and laughter but they enjoyed it.”

She added: “Our independent visitors get £30 a month for entertaining the children and that includes mileage. With the cinema and possibly going to McDonalds, that money doesn’t stretch too far.

“We like to be able to provide the children with a big trip each year. We have organised trips to London, concerts and even one of the children, who had never been on a plane before, we set it up for them to go from Luton to Edinburgh by plane and back for a day trip.

“The money we are raising through the CD will be put to pay for these types of trips.

“It was meant to be an all year round CD but it has a Christmas cover so it’s more like a Christmas album.”

Lorna Ballard, of Pop and Rock Parties, said: “When they first arrived, you could see they were quite nervous but later on they were up for it and were working together - it was a real confidence boost for them.

“We have worked alongside Huntingdonshire Regional College and one of their students has designed the cover. Then on Wednesday (today) they will send a few students over to help with the production of the CDs ready for them to go out on Friday.”

INFORMATION: The album, which cost £5, is available to buy on CD by emailing or in The Hunts Post or download from or