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Teen in charity gig at Bilston to thank Walsall bereavement charity for support

By David Cosgrove | Entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

When his twin sisters and grandmother died in the space of a few years, it was a difficult time in Callum McCarthy’s life.

Callum Hustin-McCarthy, with guitar, and band members Alfie Johnston and Jack Rickards, together with head of services Elaine Bullen

But with the help of Walsall Bereavement Support Service the 15-year-old was able to stay strong given the tragic circumstances.

Now, years later, the student has organised a rock gig at the Robin 2 in Bilston to help the charity after it was hit by funding cuts.

Along with bandmates Alfie Johnston, aged 15, and Jack Rickards, 14, their metal group Requiem will be joined by several other bands for the evening of music on March 11.

Callum, who goes to Walsall Studio School, said: “After there was a funding cut at the bereavement services I felt like as they helped me when I was younger I wanted to give something back.

“They gave me counselling when I was younger.

“It was a difficult time in my life and they pretty much turned me into a completely different Callum.”

His twin sisters Hope and Bethany were born prematurely in 2007 but sadly died shortly after, while his grandmother Margaret Hustin died in 2011 after a battle with cancer.

The group, who are changing their name from Hell’s Gates and releasing their EP on the night, will donate all proceeds from ticket sales to the bereavement charities – as well as giving a pound from every CD sold.

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Their music is inspired by metal and grunge bands including the likes of Pantera, Metallica and Soundgarden.

Callum Hustin-McCarthy (with guitar) and band members Alfie Johnston and Jack Rickards

Callum added: “I’ve grown up and have been surrounded by music. As I went to secondary school all I wanted to do was play guitar.

“So then I started having lessons at school and we got a band together in Year 7 with Alfie and Jack but we’ve only just really started properly.

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“We started off doing covers and have only recently started writing and recording our own stuff.

“There’s a few other local bands playing as well called Not My Words, Tear It Down and Riding Light.

“There’s no set figure but we’re just hoping to raise as much as possible – every little helps. There’s a little bit of butterflies at the moment but we’re very excited.” Tickets for the show cost £5 for adults and children’s tickets are £2. Family tickets are available for £12.

Elaine Bullen, head of services at Walsall Bereavement Support Service, thanked Callum and his friends for organising the charity gig.

“I think we started supporting him about five or so years ago,” she said. “It’s superb that the band are doing this.

“All areas of the charity have been affected by funding cuts and even though his support was some time ago he came knocking on the door looking to help out.

“For a young man at 15 to be having that sort of social conscience to give something back is just incredible.”

“Losing someone can affect children in the same way it affects adults.

“If children and young people get supported at the right time it can prevent future mental health difficulties.”

For ticket details and more information, go to www.therobin.co.uk

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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