(Image ‘View from the London Eye’ by Nelso Silva, via Wikimedia Commons)

The story…

This community fundraising project has been in the planning for 11 months.  It started as a ‘what if?’ chat over a pot of tea between Chris Loder (South West Trains Head of Business Projects and Gryphon School old boy), Joanne Myram of Positive PR and Liz Burt of Ideas on Food and has now evolved into the single largest charity performance ever seen at London’s Waterloo Station! And all in aid of Dorset hospicecare charity, Weldmar.

Raising Waterloo Station’s famous arched roof on 10th December!

Not only will more than 100 students, staff and supporters from Sherborne Girls and The Gryphon School be transported from Sherborne to London and back courtesy of South West Trains (with extra carriages added especially) but for the first time ever, with the help of Allens Organs a full size organ will play on the concourse too.  Director of Music at Sherborne Girls, John Jenkins, and Val Mizen from The Gryphon School will lead talented young choirs and musicians as literally thousands of London’s commuters and travellers receive an unexpected and uplifting musical reminder of the meaning of Christmas.

So, on Wednesday 10th December, angelic choruses, joyful Christmas carols and the sounds of big brass and organ will literally raise the famous arched roof of Waterloo Station.  Please join us if you are in London that day.

STOP PRESS:  A massive THANK YOU to South West Trains, Baxter Storey, Marks & Spencer via SSP Group plc, Waitrose and Oliver’s Coffee House for their support with food donations and goody bags to feed our performers and helpers.

Waterloo THANK YOU banner pic


Here is the official press release from Weldmar and South West Trains:


Choirs from Sherborne to serenade thousands at Waterloo station for Weldmar

Choirs from Sherborne Girls and The Gryphon School are preparing to serenade thousands of passengers for a concert at London’s Waterloo Station on the 10th December. Over 100 pupils will be taking part at the busiest station in the country with volunteers collecting donations from the public.

Singing to commuters and travellers at the station, the choirs will be accompanied by a full sized 6ft organ and brass band who will be playing a mix of traditional and modern carols. They will be singing during the busiest hours of the day between 4pm and 7pm.

Verity McLelland, Community Fundraiser for North Dorset said “This is such an exciting event and Weldmar feels enormously privileged to be part of it. It will be a wonderful treat for people using the station and a great way to promote the work of the hospice movement to such a large audience. Hospice care is often hidden from public view and events like this really help us to raise awareness of the wide variety of work we do whilst also raising much needed funds”

The event has been organised by Chris Loder from South West Trains – Network Rail Alliance. Chris said “We are delighted to be able to support this event by providing complimentary transport for the children coming to Waterloo station to sing. We are looking forward to welcoming the choir and Weldmar’s supporters to the station and hope they will raise lots of money for this worthy cause. The Weldmar Hospice plays a vital role in the community of Dorset and we are pleased to be able to support them in this way.”

Weldmar supports people with life-limiting illnesses, and their families, across North, South and West Dorset. It provide specialist palliative care to patients in their own homes, community hospitals and at the Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester. The organisation needs to raise over £10,000 every day and could not do this without the support of the people of Dorset.

About Weldmar Hospicecare Trust

Weldmar Hospicecare Trust cares for patients with cancer and other progressive conditions, such as motor neurone disease, who require specialist help. Patients in north, south and west Dorset have a seamless service, whether they require care and advice in the comfort of their own homes, in the day hospices or the inpatient unit at Joseph Weld Hospice.

All services are provided free of charge.

• We seek to improve the quality of life for those people by bringing relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
• We provide in-patient care at Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester
• We help enable patients to live as actively as possible and enable the family to cope throughout the patient’s illness
• We provide Day Care services at Trimar Hospice in Weymouth, Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester and the Westminster Hospital in Shaftesbury
• Our services also include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chaplaincy
complementary therapy and creative arts, together with family support and bereavement support
• Our Weldmar Community Nurses visit patients at home, in care homes and in community hospitals
• The NHS contributes 32% of our clinical costs leaving Weldmar to raise over £10,000 per day to fund our free of charge services through fundraising and our chain of nineteen charity shops and three outlets.
• South West Trains is supporting the event by sponsoring train travel to London for all of the musicians

Registered Charity No. 1000414