YOUNGSTERS from across Tynedale, aged eight to 18, have helped raise £300 for our Heart of Gold campaign with a musical showcase event.

The North Pennines Young Voices project, funded by the National Foundation for Youth Music, concluded last month with a performance which wowed the audience at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham.

The concert included everything from chart-topping pop hits to African choral music.

The project was launched in 2012 to provide young people in West Northumberland with opportunities to access professional voice tuition, give vocal performances and develop life skills.

Offered outside of the school day, completely free of charge, the project has been based at Haydon Bridge High School.

And after realising there would be a surplus generated by ticket sales for the closing concert, which took place on June 13, staff and youngsters involved with the project nominated a good cause to benefit.

“The challenge was identifying a charity which would benefit the most amount of people across a wide area,“ said Julie Humes, west area youth worker for Northumberland Youth Service.

”We had a debate with the young people about which good cause would do that and we all agreed that the Heart of Gold campaign was a very worthy cause.“

The partner charity behind the appeal, to make more public access defibrillators available across Tynedale, marked a significant anniversary on Sunday.

July 12 was the third anniversary of the tragic death of 21-year-old Alnmouth footballer, Stephen Carey, who collapsed while on the pitch due to an undiagnosed heart defect.

His legacy is the charity which has raised more than £100,000 to date and has helped provide over 50 defibrillators across Northumberland.

“It was a time for those involved in the project to reflect on why we believe so passionately about our cause and to take comfort in the knowledge that others are equally inspired to help us continue to grow the legacy we have begun to create,“ said David Wilson, one of the charity’s trustees.

“The communities and organisations throughout the Tyne Valley have shown huge understanding for our cause and dug deep to back the Heart of Gold campaign and we are incredibly proud to see such support and progress in the campaign.”

Our aim is to help the charity continue its good work throughout Tynedale by raising at least £10,000 for the life-saving heart start machines. And donations pledged to date mean the fund now exceeds £4,000.

If you‘d like to pledge a pound to help start a heart, you can make a donation online at