Day of busking helps cancer care hospital unit

Cancer care was at the heart of a day of Black Country busking and fundraising.

The Blue Granits, Tom Stanton and Billy Spakemon, busk outside Dancers shop in Halesowen to raise money for Russells Hall Hospital Cancer Care Unit. At the back is Dave Dancer from the store and also Vicky Rogers from Halesowen BID..
The Blue Granits, Tom Stanton and Billy Spakemon, busk outside Dancers shop in Halesowen to raise money for Russells Hall Hospital Cancer Care Unit. At the back is Dave Dancer from the store and also Vicky Rogers from Halesowen BID..

The duo of Tom Stanton and Billy Spakemon, better known as the Blue Granits, spent three hours performing outside Dancers shop in Halesowen.

The duo are working to raise funds for a hospital ward at Russells Hall Hospital, in Dudley.

The cash raised will go towards buying special lights on the Georgina Unit, which cares for haematology, or blood diseases, and oncology, cancer, patients.

Billy, whose real name is Dr. Brian Dakin, said they were looking for a new way to keep the fundraising going after months of performing in people's gardens.

He said: "I started speaking to Vicky Rogers from Halesowen BID about being able to busk in Halesowen and she and Dave Dancer were really supportive.

"We've built up a good relationship with them and it led to us performing outside the shop today, which let us bring some sunshine to the town."

The duo performed a range of songs, ranging from the Everly Brothers to Lindisfarne, with a number of Black Country hits thrown in for good measure.

The appeal has raised more than £4,500 so far and Brian, who had been busking in Russells Hall Hospital until the coronavirus pandemic started, said the day had been a good fundraising day.

He said: "Last Saturday, we raised £250 from a busking session and considering today is a weekday, I think we've raised close to £150 today, which will take our fund over £4,700.

"That's absolutely fantastic and really brings home the job we're doing, which is to make sure this money goes where it needs to go.

"It's fun and it has to be fun for both us and the public, so I hope people can continue to keep their chins up during this difficult time and help us to make a difference to someone's life."

Brian said the Blue Granits would aim to do a mini busking tour around the region leading up to Christmas.

To find out more and to support the cause, call 07514 824845. or email b.dakin@aston.ac.uk

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