So why did I start doing this?
I started fundraising for Children in Need because I used to listen to Sir Terry Wogan on the radio and could hear the passion in his voice. Years later I have been to a few projects and realise that there are a lot of children in this country who have suffered. They have done nothing wrong but have been born into unhappiness and hardship.
I feel as adults, we need to find a way to help these children to grow into good and caring individuals who are not angry at the world because of their plight.
We have been to a few projects over the years, including a children’s playgroup that have integrated children with behavioural disabilities and physical disabilities with able bodied children. I loved watching the adults sitting on the floor, singing with them all and signing at the same time.
The most recent project I went to was helping teenagers come to terms with the bad things that were happening in their lives and turning their lives around with help from the people of Barnardo’s. One of their statements reads “we believe in children, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through, we will support them, stand up for them and bring out the best in them.”
So this is why I do it, this is why I work sometimes long hours, but nearly always with a smile on my face. I care about our future, I care about the children who will grow into adulthood, I want them to care too.
Our latest project – Young songwriters, started purely as another way to raise funds for Barnardo’s but it has become a vocation for me. Last year we had 35 schools enter the competition but the feedback was so thought provoking for me, that I now cannot let it go. My eye was on the end result, the children who would be helped by the money raised, but something changed that last year. The young people who entered the competition were getting something more out of it than I had realised. For a lot of them it was just fun and exciting, but to others it gave them a purpose, a challenge to themselves to tell people how they feel through song, something they perhaps could not do in normal lessons or even to their friends.
Young songwriters, gives the teachers a focus and a goal for the students they are teaching, some of them have asked for information about Barnardo’s, so they can inform the young people about the sadness out there that maybe some are not aware of.
Young Songwriters gives the students something to be enthusiastic about, but it gives them a chance to be themselves and to learn about themselves and others. I once said years ago, to a set of children, “I want you to have fun using your talents to help others”. Young Songwriters, gives so many young people the chance to do that.
Hellen Bach www.young-songwriters.co.uk