Winter Warmer Project Newsletter -A New Year Story –January 2016
It began when a young musician from Swansea, Tom Stephens, wrote a song about missing home at Christmas. He named the song ‘Winter Warmer’ and wanted to use it to raise funds for a charitable cause. Meanwhile, Liz Slade of Swansea Young Single Homeless Project (SYSHP) came along to one of the meetings of Soroptimist International of Swansea (SI Swansea). Liz spoke about SYSHP and explained how budget cuts had affected the charity’s important project work. Tom’s mother Moira, a member of SI Swansea, attended the meeting and later spoke to Tom who decided to release his song ‘Winter Warmer’ to help SYSHP.
Tom and his Swansea based band “Broken Fires” provided more guitars and backing vocals and recorded the song. As Tom is a teacher in London, there were several trips home at weekends to arrange this. Also, there were meetings with SYSHP—participants agreed to provide artwork for CD covers.
Tom arranged for the release of the song in December so that it could be downloaded direct from the Internet, and he arranged a modest release show at Square Peg coffee shop in Sketty, Swansea (very good coffee!)! With huge support from members of the band Tom arranged for CDs to be produced and available for sale. He set up a ‘Just Giving’ page so that donations and receipts could be properly recorded.
Meanwhile, at Tom’s school, teachers and pupils had heard about the project and became involved –the choir sang the song in assembly and pupils in the art class provided art for CD covers. The instant availability of the song through the Internet allowed pupils to purchase it and listen for just £1, and staff and colleagues generously supported the project.
To date, approximately 400 people have downloaded the song from the Internet, many donations have been received on the ‘Just Giving’ page and CDs (with original artwork) have been sold. Tickets for the launch evening at Square Peg coffee shop quickly sold out. The total sum raised for SYSHP from this project currently stands at £1,258.31p —a great success.