The 2.6 challenge (organised by the London Marathon to ‘Save UK Charities’) has bought out the musical talents of a very special group of people who are all members of a charity called Reach.
Clare Salters, Reach’s chair, decided to pull together as many Reach members as possible who play an instrument, to create a virtual orchestra to play Reach Charity’s theme tune – ‘Reach for The Stars’.
The orchestra is made up of 32 Reach members, aged 3 to 70, from 14 places across the UK, music comes from a professional Harpist to a retired hand surgeon playing Violin, Trumpets to Drums, Flutes to Ukulele’s, Euphoniums to Guitar and Bass guitars, Recorders, Tenor horns, Cello, Oboe Clarinets, Cornets and little Arthur age 3 – working hard on the Tambourine!
Clare pulled the videos together and edited the music. Clare told us “I’m really delighted that there has been so much support for the project, especially in the Reach community but also beyond. I’ve always felt that music was the best way to connect with people, and that has certainly been the case here. The kids – and their families – have really got behind the project, both because they wanted to enjoy the music but also because they wanted to support Reach. I’m really proud of what we have been able to achieve together.
Like most charities, Reach is heavily dependent on fundraising in order to keep operating. This year’s movement restrictions across the UK and Ireland mean that our traditional sources of income have temporarily dried up – no London marathon or other major sporting events that are our usual bread and butter. We have been excited to be involved in the 2.6 Challenge, and it has been great to see the willingness of people across the Reach community to come together to find ways of helping secure funding for our charity.
There is a lot that is special in that video – the collective whole, the individual journeys that each of the children have been on to prepare their part (easy for some, mammoth achievement for others). But for me the most magical moment comes at the end, when everyone shouts ‘I said Reach!’. You can hear the love in their voices, and see it on the faces of children, siblings, parents who know what a difference Reach has made to their lives. That’s why our fundraising is so important. We need to ensure that we can continue to make that difference for other children for many years to come.
Reach oRchestRa member Harry Pepper told us “I’m really excited to be part of the Reach virtual orchestra and I hope that by coming together we can make people happy and show people that, whilst having one hand may mean we play our instruments a bit differently, we can create something special and inspiring that people will enjoy. Reach means a lot to me because it gives me a sense of belonging. I’ve made friends who have a disability like me and understand how I feel and can give me advice on how to do things I may be struggling with and this has helped me be more confident.”
Trustee Ruth Lester, a retired hand surgeon who has recently signed up to return to the NHS to help with the Coronavirus pandemic said ““ I am so privileged to have been part of this Reach Family Orchestra – but to see all the children involved is just fantastic – many tears all round! A huge Thankyou to all parents, children and our ‘extras’ – but especially to Clare for the imagination and dealing with the technical challenge.”
Lee Gwiliam, (vice chair)” My son Ewan and I are so proud to have been part of this project. Reach has given not just Ewan, but also my wife and I so much over the past 10 years, it is fantastic to be able to give something back. Small charities at the best of times rely on fundraising support; now more so than ever and Reach is no exception. I hope this project demonstrates the positivity and togetherness of our charity and helps Reach to raise much needed funds.
If people would like to donate to Reach please follow this link. https://www.justgiving.com/team/Reach-oRchestRa