Crosby Ravensworth Village Hall was bathed in sunshine on Thursday January 9th as the Lyvennet Activity Group hosted Annie Mawson’s Sunbeams charity concert before a full house of about 130 residents of the Westmorland Fells area including children from Crosby Ravensworth C of E Primary School and their new Head Master Mr. Duncan Priestly and WI and Mothers Union members drawn from the villages of Bolton, Gt Asby, Kirkoswald and Tebay.
After another superb social lunch at The Butchers Arms community pub, people gathered to experience the bardic charm of star performers Annie Mawson, harp and vocals, and Keith Redfern, acoustic guitar, vocals and magic wand! Yes, you read that correctly. As well as singing and playing guitar, Keith delivered a highly entertaining and interactive magic show that had the children rearing from their seats and the adults chuckling.
Joan Raine, organiser of The Lyvennet Activity Group thanked The Sunbeams Trust for coming, the NCI Small grants fund for financing the event and congratulated Annie on her MBE award in this year’s New Year’s Honours List. Entrance was free, with takings from a raffle run by Trustee of Sunbeams, Isa Henderson, split between the Lyvennet Activity Group and The Sunbeams Trust and a donations bucket by the door to raise funds solely for Sunbeams. An early count suggests that £235 was raised.
The performance was inspiring. Annie first introduced her work with Sunbeams Trust, the charity that engages people of different abilities and backgrounds with music, facilitating learning, social interaction and developing their self-confidence through accomplishment and Music For Life therapy. She then introduced her harp of hand-crafted willow and showed us her facility with the Celtic instrument and her versatile voice.
Together they filled the hall with sound and engaged the gathering with an entertaining and interactive set of original songs and instructive activity including medley compositions that set everyone’s feet thumping and opened our mouths and throats, resounding the catchy rhythms through the wooden floor and rafters.
In the course of 90 minutes, Annie and Keith gracefully interleaved a lot of fun entertainment with information about the development of The Sunbeams Trust and their plans to build a dedicated centre between Rheged and Redhills. They taught the audience a lively sign language song – and between the songs there was also a lot of local cultural reinforcement in the jolly banter – such as counting in dialect from yan to gigot. Some of the children counted all the way! It all flowed with easy grace and finesse and was uplifting.
Joan Raine said “I think it went very well. It was a day to showcase what we are about and how we hope to bring friendship and wellbeing to the elderly, to counteract rural isolation. Thanks to Isa for organising the raffle, Charles for applying for the NCI grant and the whole team who got the hall ready and tidied up afterwards.”
Lyvennet Activity Group was set up as a constituted body to apply for grants which enable services to be brought into the community, Lyvennet Activity Group provides a sociable lunch club, computer classes, a photography club, and a walking group. In the near future they hope to hold handicraft classes for a one off project to commemorate WWI.
Anybody interested in reserving a place at the lunch on the first Thursday of each month should contact Keith Taylor on 01931 715722. The next lunch will be on February 6th at noon.
The Lyvennet Photography Club will next meet at The Butchers Arms on Sunday January 19th at 7 pm.
Annie is now well on her way to creating a permanent Community Music Therapy and Training Centre to provide a purpose-built facility to deliver music therapy and training to the disabled and disadvantaged and create a centre of learning and research for music therapists and a sustainable legacy for community music therapy for disadvantaged people across the UK.
Find out more about Annie Mawson’s amazing work with The Sunbeams Trust and Music For Life at http://www.sunbeamsmusic.org/