Willow blog

Willow Carol Concert 2016

December 8, 2016

Willow hosted its 17th annual Carol Concert in the beautiful and historic Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Albans in December, raising more than £8,000 for Special Days.

Venerable Jonathan Smith, the Archdeacon of St Albans welcomed the congregation to an evening that included stunning musical performances by the Hertfordshire Chorus, The Bishop’s Hatfield Girls School Choir, who have performed at Willow’s Carol Concert for the past two years followed by a guest performance by Lucy Kane who sang ‘The Christmas song’.

Lisa Langford bravely shared how her own Willow Special Day played such an important role on the road to recovery. ”Having the Special Day to plan gave us all something to look forward to, I wanted to treat my boys, Luke, 5, and Jake, 9, who had been through so much seeing their mum so poorly. We’d never taken them to the theatre before, so a trip to London to watch The Lion King and a meal at The Rainforest Café was perfect and, as it got nearer, our excitement started to grow. The whole day was superb and one we will certainly treasure, it helped put a spring in my step ready to face my radiotherapy”- Lisa’s emotional story conveyed to guests just how the Charity helps people at a time when they need it the most.

Willow’s Co- Founder and Life President’s Bob and Megs Wilson, who set up the Charity as a lasting memorial to their daughter Anna, were overwhelmed by the turnout, ”From the beginnings, 17 years ago, when Willows’ first Carol Concert was held in Welwyn, this annual event has grown but remains close to our hearts, attended by loyal and new supporters alike. We’re so grateful for the warm welcome we receive from St Albans Cathedral which hosted more than 500 guests in the stunning Abbey this year. The coming together of loved ones for this festive event demonstrates Willow’s Special Days so well. On behalf of everyone who will benefit from a Special Day in 2017 from the funds raised at the Carol Concert, thank you.”

Willow’s Tribute Tree, adorned with more than 50 baubles, took centre stage this year with a bauble representing Willow’s volunteers in loving memory of Kevin Nottage who sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2016 .. Despite his ongoing fight with the illness, Kevin and his family became regular Willow volunteers.

The evening concluded with attendees enjoying complimentary wine and mince pies provided by local baker Simmons. The Willow Carol Concert is sponsored by St Albans based company Borras Construction who have been fundraising for Willow since 2008.  Willow fulfilled its first Special Day at Christmas 1999, with a theatre trip to see Mamma Mia for a young lady diagnosed with cancer. Theatre trips remain one of the most popular Special Day requests and along with trips to sporting events, family leisure resorts and weekends away. The Charity has fulfilled more than 13,000 Special Days to date.

Photos from the evening can be viewed here