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Hometown Rock and Roll Band reunites to help Jack Rickard

Band members Geoff Lovell, Pete Glover, Jack Thomas, Dave Cupit and Graham Seal with Jack and Ava Rickard
Band members Geoff Lovell, Pete Glover, Jack Thomas, Dave Cupit and Graham Seal with Jack and Ava Rickard

A rock band renowned for its charity work came out of retirement to raise money for six-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer Jack Rickard.

The youngster, from Barnack, is hoping to undergo life-changing surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London later this year.

But first his parents Steve and Shona are trying to raise £60,000 because the procedure, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), is not currently available on the NHS.

Hometown Rock and Roll Band, which last year received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, has raised more than £300,000 for good causes in the past 30 years.

When guitarist and singer Geoff Lovell, from Werrington, Peterborough, heard about Jack’s story he was keen to help give his fundraising appeal a boost.

So the band, which played a farewell gig in 2012, reformed for one night only with a gig at the Parkway Sports and Social Club, in Peterborough, and raised an impressive £2,464.

Geoff said: “I have two daughters who know Shona and when I heard about the Jack’s Journey appeal I was keen to try and help.

“We hadn’t played for a few years and, during that time, sadly one of our members died. People kept saying to us, ‘why don’t you do a show for the fans’, and I thought about it and said let’s do it to thank all those people who have supported us over the years.

“It was a sell out with around 250 people packed into the Parkway club – and could have sold more if there was room. The raffle really took off too, and that helped give our total a boost.”

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), could remove the majority of spasticity in Jack’s legs, giving him the best chance of living an active life.

It is hoped the Rickard family’s £60,000 target can be hit soon, allowing the Barnack Primary School pupil to have his life-changing operation in September.

Mum Shona said Jack and twin sister Ava both attended the gig and enjoyed the music. She added: “The band played around 60 numbers from their repertoire to the delight of everyone in attendance who danced the night away.

“Steve and I would like to thank the band, especially Geoff, for making it happen, and everyone who attended.”

Meanwhile, housebuilder Persimmon Homes has donated £1,000 to the appeal. Jack’s Journey applied for funding via the company’s Community Champions initiative.

Steven Allenby, sales and marketing director, said: “Jack has shown tremendous bravery and upon reading the efforts that have gone into raising money we wanted to help all we could.”

For more details about the Community Champions initiative, visit www.persimmon homes.com/charity

n A fun-filled event for all the family is being staged in Barnack next weekend by Jack’s Journey.

The Party in the Paddock, on Sunday, June 12, between midday and 6pm will feature live music, a barbecue, ferret racing, tree climbing races, a bar and much more.

Visit www.jacksjourneycharity.com for more details and to buy tickets.

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