Organising a harvest concert


Molly tells us about her experience planning the Harvest Concert at Arley Hall.

After seeing first-hand how life-changing the opportunities and support Leonard Cheshire provide can be, I knew I wanted to help raise the profile of the charity in any way possible.

What really goes on behind the scenes in organising a fundraising event?

Hi! I’m Molly, a second year BA Music student at The University of Leeds. I’m a flautist, baker, dog-lover, occasional runner, now turned volunteer concert manager!

Molly’s experience so far as a Leonard Cheshire fundraising event volunteer…

By now you’ll have heard about Leonard Cheshire’s exciting upcoming musical event at Arley Hall right? 

What’s happening?!

Leonard Cheshire’s second fundraising concert is taking place on 26 September. The chapel at Arley Hall will play host to an evening of entertainment.

The whole team organising this event are extremely happy to have secured a really great programme! It will feature a world premiere especially commissioned for the occasion. The RNCM’s Armeni quintet and the Fingers United Sign Language Performance Choir will also perform, amongst a variety of others. 

Commissioned composer, Reuben Rowlands, is penning a piece exclusively for the evening. His composition will explore the parallels of the harvest season and the work of Leonard Cheshire. It ties together the essence of the harvest season with the charity's ethos — supporting, nurturing and growing. It should be really special!

We are also delighted to have a British Sign Language translator present at the event. This special event will be accessible to all!

The story of how I became involved…

I can honestly say that a year ago I had never heard of Leonard Cheshire or the work that they do. I find it astonishing that I had never heard of one of the biggest disability charities in the UK.

Shamefully I had given little thought to the challenges faced by so many people in the community. I didn't really have much understanding of how disabilities can limit people's independence. 

What changed all this was the experience of a close family member. After challenging health-related circumstances, Leonard Cheshire provided her with a life-changing opportunity. They provided hope and gave her the chance to bounce back. Crucially, she learnt to cope with what had become a debilitating condition.

After seeing first-hand how life-changing the opportunities and support Leonard Cheshire provide can be, I knew I wanted to help raise the profile of the charity in any way possible. Everyone should know about Leonard Cheshire and have an insight into the important work that it does!

I was honoured to have a chance to perform at Leonard Cheshire’s Arley Christmas Concert last year. The event was a sell-out success! Now I'm involved with the daunting task of organising a Harvest Concert in the same venue this year. 

My volunteer experience so far…

This experience has been a huge learning curve. As a musician myself I have often been involved in the on-stage part of putting on such a show.

Now I have a greater appreciation for the volume of behind-the-scenes work that goes into setting up an event. It’s taken three volunteer organisers (myself, Eleanor Hall and Isla Atay) plus our co-ordinator and manager (Amy Bradley). Not to mention three meetings and many emails to discuss all manner of things. We’re still only part-way through!

Initially we had to discuss our inspiration for the concert. We talked about what sort of programme we would like and how we were going to secure performers.

We discussed who we wanted to approach to perform and then how we were going to market the event. Then we had to choose who would be in charge of each task and agree a budget. The list could go on and there is still more to come!

Overall the experience has definitely taught me a lot. I have had to make some nerve-wracking phone calls, hone my writing skills and keep my diary in check!

I can’t wait to see what the final result will be and I know that it’s really going to be a fantastic evening. If the music weren’t enough of a draw...there’s going to be a post-concert reception with bubbly, but more importantly, cake!

Come and join us!

Isla, Eleanor, Amy, I and all at Leonard Cheshire would love you to come and join us for this event. The whole concert will be British Sign Language Interpreted too!

Grab your ticket today

Join us for an evening of feel-good music and joy! Tickets are from £8.

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