BURY born Jess Williams planned a Christmas concert to raise money for Wythenshawe Transplant unit charity ‘New Start’ and the Besses o’ the’ Barn band renovation fund.
The 21-year-old organised the concert on Sunday 10th December, as a gesture for her father Mark Williams, who was Diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis in 2012 and is need of a double lung transplant. The 47-year-old has been on the transplant list, waiting for some new lungs for five years and will be treated at Wythenshawe’s unit if he receives a transplant.
The charity is one of five heart and Lung transplant units in the UK and is close the Jess’ heart. She said:
“A few months ago, I decided I wanted to help two causes so close to my heart. Five years ago, my dad was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis and was told he needed a double lung transplant. The hardest thing for me was the fact I couldn’t do anything to help him, I felt useless. I wanted to help, so instead I decided to raise money for New Start, the Wythenshawe transplant unit where my dad will be treated when he finally can get his lungs. I’ve not organised it all myself, I’ve had so much support and help from family, friends and the band, I am so thankful for them.”
The transplant unit has played a huge part in Jess’ fathers treatment, she said: “The unit is so important, it’s massive and reaches so many people. It is a charity and is funded entirely on donations, they raise funds for research and improvements for transplants, for equipment and there are so many people on the transplant list in the North West, that you don’t know about that the charity help support. It helps so many people and is absolutely vital”
The evening was brimming with festivities as the Besses o’ the barn band entertained the crowds with a selection of Christmas tunes. They ranged from Christmas classics like God Rest Ye merry Gentlemen and Jingle Bells to a few modern numbers like Stop the Calvary and Last Christmas. The crowds were swaying and singling along to all the songs. The night also had a raffle which featured superior prizes such as escape room tickets and signed Manchester Football merchandise, kindly donated by local and large businesses.
The night was also in aid for The Besses o’ the’ Barn band where Jess is a member and plays the Flugelhorn. The Besses o’ th’ Barn band is 200 years old in 2018, making it one of the oldest brass bands in the
UK. The Chair of the band says: “The rehearsal room for the band in over 150 years old and it that time it has had very little work done to it and it’s in desperate need of renovation. It’s freezing cold and damp. We jumped at the chance to help Jess our because she is a huge part of the Besses o’ th’ Barn band. We did everything we could to help organise this event.”
The event ran smoothly and the crowd enjoyed the evening festivities. The Christmas Concert raised a few hundred pounds to donate to the Wythenshawe Transplant unit Charity ‘New start’ and the Besses o’ th barn band.