YMCA proms evening raises Norwich spirits
After a day of sporting lows with England’s rugby team and Norwich City defeats, spirits were raised to the roof at a stirring Last Night of the Proms event in aid of YMCA Norfolk in Norwich on Saturday evening (October 3).
Staged at the Salvation Army Citadel on St Giles, a 30-strong Army fellowship band and a 22-strong choir from the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital University Trust performed for an audience of over 350.
The programme was an inspiring mix of classical favourites, Gospel anthems and piano and cornet solos.
Organiser Jason Beattie, a Salvation Army Band member and director of YMCA Norfolk welcomed everyone and introduced the compere for the evening, General the Lord Dannatt who is President of YMCA Norfolk.
Lord Dannatt said “As some of you will know, I served 40 years in the British Army and I was always pleased when young people who didn't get the best start in life had their passing out parade and their mum would say thanks for transforming my child. This is what the YMCA does every day, it gives young people without the best start in life a second chance to succeed, and I am proud to be a part of the YMCA and to support this event.”
Cornet solos from Alex Gibson and Susan Avison on the piano were highlights of the programme along with a heart-felt rendition of We Are The Reason and L.O.V.E from singer James Morley.
YMCA Norfolk CEO, Tim Sweeting, thanked the Salvation Army for hosting the event and told the audience of the similarities between the Salvation Army and YMCA - both started in Victorian England to meet the needs of the time.
“The YMCA is still committed to meeting the needs of young people today and next year we celebrate our 160th anniversary,” he said. “This just demonstrates that the YMCA is not interested in short-term fixes but in long-lasting transformation.”
YMCA resident Cara gave a moving account of being abandoned by her mum at the age of 17 and the support the YMCA has given her to help bring transformation to her life.
Tim said that there are many ways people can support the work of YMCA Norfolk such as becoming Supported Lodgings hosts, visiting the Stepping Stones café, joining the annual Sleep Easy event, praying, or even joining Tim in running next year’s London Marathon. All funds go towards transforming young people's lives.
YMCA Norfolk president, General the Lord Sir Richard Dannatt, thanked everyone for their generosity as the offering was completed with over £3,000 raised from the evening.
James Morley then gave a moving rendition of Bring Him Home and led patriotic songs such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory to much flag waving and audience participation. The event ended with the Dad’s Army March.
Click here to see more pictures from the evening