Snow Patrol have given a local cancer charity a helping hand buying instruments for children whose loved ones are battling the disease.
Cancer Focus NI were able to buy new instruments for music therapy for children and young people thanks to the band who made a generous donation after their last major gig in the city.
Lead singer Gary Lightbody also took time out from his busy schedule to tour the charity’s Belfast service centre and meet staff.
Their donation has gone to Cancer Focus NI’s family support service which helps children and young people when their mum, dad or grandparent has cancer or has died from cancer. They will now be able to use music therapy to help them express their feelings and improve their emotional wellbeing.
Belfast teenager Katy Fyfe (14) lost her dad Tony to oesophageal and liver cancer nine months ago and says the charity’s family support service is a great support.
Talented Katie, who is studying music for her GCSEs and plays the ukulele, piano and guitar, finds music a valuable outlet for her pent up emotions and helps take her mind off her sadness.
She said: “I love music, there’s something to match any mood and lyrics can be very meaningful too. I enjoy going to the Cancer Focus NI family support evenings, everyone there has been down a similar path so you don’t have to explain yourself. You relate to people and I find that very helpful. It’s a safe place to be.
“I also look forward to my time with the family support worker Michelle, who is a music therapist – and music gives us a lot to talk about. She is very comforting to talk to and our sessions help if I’m feeling stressed or need to take my mind off things. I think music therapy is a really good idea, music is so relaxing and can express a lot of what you are feeling. I’m sure these new instruments will be well used.”
Cancer Focus NI chief executive Roisin Foster added: “Music therapy was a new venture for us. We didn’t have any musical instruments so we used this donation from Snow Patrol to buy a range of suitable percussion and other simple instruments for Michelle to use with the children.
“Through music, in one to ones or groups, they are supported therapeutically to express and deal with all the myriad of emotions that beset these young people and which can leave indelible scars if not addressed. They don’t have to be able to play an instrument to be able to get a lot from the work we do with them. I don’t think we could have used this donation any better.”
The charity was able to buy instruments including an electronic laser instrument, steel and samba drums, ukuleles and a thunder box.
Read the article at belfastlive.co.uk.