Clitheroe concerts raise £12,700 for Kenyan children

Ann and John Marsden receive a momento of thanks from The Grand trustee and co-founder of the Solomon Project Rosemary Lancaster. (s)

Ann and John Marsden receive a momento of thanks from The Grand trustee and co-founder of the Solomon Project Rosemary Lancaster. (s)

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A Clitheroe couple with a love of rock ’n’ roll have used their passion for live music to help the lives of hundreds of poor children in Kenya.

Over the past 18 months, John and Ann Marsden have organised four rock ’n’ roll nights at The Grand Venue, Clitheroe. All proceeds have gone to support the Solomon Project, a charity initiative of The Grand, raising an incredible £12,740 in the process.

The Solomon Project helps deliver a feeding programme in schools across the poverty-stricken Eldoret region. Free school meals encourage children to attend school and gain an education. It costs just £17 a year to provide a child with one hot meal a day.

Working with Mary’s Meals, The Solomon Project feeds between 5,000 and 6,000 children every day. Mary’s Meals’ wider food programmes feed around half a million children per day.

Eldoret is recovering from the effects of a devastating tribal conflict that left many children orphaned. Many people survive from living on rubbish dumps in an attempt to overcome hunger.

Providing a substantial meal at school has given children more of an incentive to attend school and gain an education, enabling a better future for themselves and their communities.

All the concerts organised by John and Ann for the Solomon Project have featured the popular band Colin Paul and The Persuaders. The most recent concert took place earlier this month and plans are afoot to stage the next one in the spring.

“When we learned of the plight of the children supported by the Solomon Project we wanted to do something and support in any way we could,” said Ann.

“The first concert coincided with John’s 70th birthday and we did it as a one-off, but people enjoyed it so much they asked when were we doing another one.

“We realised we’d hit on something. It’s a lot of friends getting together and having a dance and a good time, and people have backed us 100% in helping the charity.”

Ann also paid tribute to the commitment of Colin Paul and the Persuaders. The band was formed in 1995 and has developed a strong following throughout the UK.

“They are so popular and everyone wanted to hear them again. The music creates a great atmosphere and lifts people’s spirits. They love performing at The Grand,” added Ann.

Anyone wishing to attend any future rock ’n’ roll dances should contact The Grand box office on 01200 421599 and ask for Joanne Hughes.