Band Aid boost for Kintyre cancer charity

Margaret Sinclair, treasurer of the Mairi Semple Fund, and Pauline Simson, the group's chairperson, worked hard serving soup, rolls and sweet treats. 50_c39crafters06_margaret sinclair and pauline simson
Margaret Sinclair, treasurer of the Mairi Semple Fund, and Pauline Simson, the group's chairperson.

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To help boost a Kintyre cancer charity’s funds, a kind-hearted troupe of talented musicians, all living in or originating from Campbeltown, have released their own version of the Band Aid song Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The single was the brainchild of drum tutor Mark Leishman, who has his own recording studio, 113 Sound, and all proceeds from sales will be donated to the Mairi Semple Fund.

The charity, which financially supports people suffering from cancer, launched its own fundraising appeal – an online auction which made more than £2,000 – last month amid concerns about the long-term financial effects of not being able to carry out its usual events this year.

Fundraising queen Helen Gilchrist stepped up to help and raised an additional £6,000 by selling lucky numbers – the ‘wee raffle’ turned into 1,100 tickets being sold at £5 each – and she also plans to host a Boxing Day quiz.

Already thinking about releasing a charity track, Mark saw this as the perfect opportunity and approached Helen to ask if the proceeds could be donated to her campaign.

Mark, who plays drums on the track, told the Courier: ‘I came up with the idea a couple of years back but, with the time of year being busy for gigs and having a few different projects on the go, I didn’t get round to finishing it.

‘This year, with the situation as it is and not a lot happening on the music front, I thought it would be nice to get a few local musicians together and finally finish the project.

‘Massive thanks to everyone who took part and helped out. They are: Adam Fortune, Tommy Blue, David Fee, Wendy Beasley, Iain McIntyre, Erin Ferguson, Cammy Campbell, Arran McAllister, Mark and Stephen Johnson, James Murdoch, Baz Young and Andrew Robertson, and thanks to Sam Hales for his help tracking some of the vocals.

‘I’d also like to thank Alistair Gorman at Argyll FM for getting the track on air.’

Fiona Macalister, Mairi Semple Fund secretary, said: ‘We would like to thank Helen for everything she has done to help the fund – she is one in a million – and the musicians for thinking of us when releasing that great track. Never did we think we would be saying the Mairi Semple Fund has a charity track.

‘To all the generous people and businesses that donated and bid, we cannot thank you enough for supporting us in something we’d never done before.

‘Our mission is to help those fighting cancer and this wee town has certainly come out to help.

‘If you or anyone you know needs our help, please contact Maggie Wilkieson at Campbeltown Hospital. We ensure complete anonymity to those who apply and whatever they spend the money on is their business. We only hope it helps in some way.’

The charity track is available for download at with a minimum price of £2.50.