Jill inspires fellow choir members

Published on: 30 Jun 2015

black sheep chorus

A WOMAN from Downend who is undergoing chemotherapy has inspired an entire women’s choir to complete a charity walk whilst singing a cappella.
Members of the Black Sheep Harmony Ladies Chorus will perform various songs from their repertoires during the St Peter’s Hospice Midnight Walk in support of their friend and fellow chorus member Jill Cole.
Jill, 58, is receiving palliative care at home from the Bristol-based charity following her diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
Seventeen co-members of the Warmley-based chorus decided to take part in the walk after seeing the support and kindness the charity has shown to Jill.
But they have decided they will go one step further - and entertain fellow walkers at the same time - by singing their way around the five-mile route.
Black Sheep Harmony chairwoman Noey McElwee, from Chipping Sodbury, said: “St Peter’s Hospice is a charity very dear to all of our hearts so we’re very much looking forward to taking part in this year’s Midnight Walk on behalf of Jill.
“Jill is currently undergoing chemotherapy but her condition is slightly uncertain at the moment so we really wanted to do something to help.
“The support the hospice gives to Jill and others in her situation is wonderful, it’s a charity which many in Bristol know about so we’re pleased to be raising money. In fact the hospice is also currently supporting another member’s husband at the moment too so it is doubly important to us to be taking part.
“After we decided to take part in the Midnight Walk we thought ‘why not sing along the way!?’ We’ll be singing a variety of songs from Elbow and Disney hits to classical pieces; we’re an a cappella group so we don’t need any instruments and we hope to entertain other fundraisers also walking through the night!
“The Midnight Walk looks like a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to the atmosphere on the night. We always have a good laugh when we get together for social activities. So far we’ve raised around £300 but we hope to donate at least £500 altogether.”
Jill is currently being supported by a St Peter’s Hospice community nurse specialist, who visits at home to help with medication and advice.
Jill said: “I have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and I’ve been told it has now spread to other areas. St Peter’s Hospice is providing palliative care at home, which has just been fantastic. The care is amazing and I’m so grateful for all they are doing.
“It means a lot to be able to receive the care within the comfort of my own home surrounded by my family.
“I’m absolutely amazed that the ladies from the choir are taking part for me. I’m just in awe of the kindness which has been shown to me recently. Everyone has been rallying around, it’s really been amazing.
“I’m looking forward to hearing how they all get on.”
The annual Midnight Walk attracts hundreds of supporters every year, often donning fancy dress or bright pink outfits. The popular ladies-only sponsored event takes in all the famous Bristol landmarks by moonlight including the ss Great Britain, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Harbourside and is one of the most successful events on the charity’s calendar.
Kicking off at 10.30pm on Saturday July 11, the walk will begin this year at Ashton Park School, with participants able to choose between a five-mile or ten-mile route.
As Bristol’s only adult hospice, St Peter’s Hospice cares for more than 2,670 patients each year as well as supporting family members.
All services are provided free of charge but this care costs around £18,000 a day. For around £14,000 of that, the hospice relies on gifts in wills, kind donations and funds generated by the hospice shops.
St Peter’s Hospice events fundraiser Maria del Carmen Moon Park said: “What a wonderful way to take part in the Midnight Walk. We’ve had lots of fancy dress groups before and even a hen party but never a chorus!
“We can’t wait to hear the ladies sing along the route, it’s going to add to the already electric atmosphere the Midnight Walk usually creates.”

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