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Coronavirus Kent: Gravesend talent network GTown Talents voices support for ellenor hospice threatened with lockdown cash crisis


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Young rappers are lending their vocals to help raise funds for a hospice charity after it predicted losses of more than £1 million.

ellenor hospice in Northfleet provides care to more than 3,000 patients and their families every year across Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.

Watch GTown Talent's music video in support of ellenor hospice

But the charity has been plunged into financial difficulties as a direct result of disruption to fundraising events caused by Covid-19.

Now a hip-hop talent collective is stepping in to help the hospice raise the funds it needs to continue to support families in their hour of need.

Gravesend-based promoter Jimmy Babalola heads up one half of the talent network GTown Talents.

Alongside creative director VybeRoom they have shot a video explaining some of the issues facing the charity sector and urging people to chip in where they can.

Jimmy Babalola helped set up G Town Talents for young and talented people with musical interests in Gravesend
Jimmy Babalola helped set up G Town Talents for young and talented people with musical interests in Gravesend

“It’s important that we come together as one community in times of crisis, to ensure that everyone is supported - especially the most vulnerable", said Jimmy.

"When I heard that ellenor – with the amazing work it does and its incredible spirit – was facing a financial crisis due to the impact of Covid-19, it only seemed right for GTown to reach out and help raise awareness of the charity's Emergency Fighting Fund Appeal."

He added: “An audience can watch the video and be moved not only by the beats and rhymes they'll hear, but by the performers' choice of words.

"Getting the GTown performers to articulate what they feel about hospice care, what it means to a community and those in need and to turn their feelings into music was an awesome experience for all of us."

The youngest artist is 11-year-old Whitstable schoolboy Ed Croucher, better known as Fidget Rhymes, who has worked with people behind famous rapper Dizzee Rascal.

Other performers are aged between 11 and 27 and many have developed their rapping credentials in the face of adversity and difficult starts in life.

“It’s important that we come together as one community in times of crisis, to ensure that everyone is supported - especially the most vulnerable"

This was documented in the group's last video which they shot with a Dartford youth worker to raise awareness about drug misuse and social distancing, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

ellenor's charity shops have now been closed for over a month and fundraising events have been cancelled.

Earlier this month the care organisation made a desperate appeal for donations after it predicted a shortfall of £1.1 millon over a four month period.

This it said would have an impact on its ability to provide much-needed care and support now and in the future.

Vikki Harding, ellenor’s chief executive, said: "Hospices are faced with a critical funding crisis, and we need to ensure that those in our community living with a life limiting or terminal illness can be certain of our care and support during these uncertain times and in the future."

She said she was "absolutely thrilled" to hear the UK rap promoters GTown Talents were supporting their emergency appeal.

Chief executive ellenor hospice, Vikki Harding has launched an emergency appeal for donations
Chief executive ellenor hospice, Vikki Harding has launched an emergency appeal for donations

“We rely on the generosity of the local community," she added. "We’ve launched our Emergency Fighting Fund to help keep ellenor’s services going and healthcare colleagues by the sides of our patients."

"The fact that GTown and its musicians are supporting us shows that young people at the heart of our local community care every bit as passionately about the vital work ellenor does as we do."

For more information about ellenor hospice or to donate visit www.ellenor.org/emergencyfund

The KM Group is committed to helping the community through the KM Charity team. For more information and to find out what other good causes you can get involved in click here.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

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