Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 11.48.03Newcastle’s festive celebrations have been given a welcome ‘head start’ thanks to the region’s largest motor group lending their support to sponsor an annual Christmas concert held in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

The new main sponsors of the fourth Christmas at the Cathedral concert will be Benfield, now part of the Lookers plc family, who are providing the ‘drive’ needed to make the concert a one to remember !

The concert brings together a wealth of stars to help raise vital funds for the cancer charity and takes place on Tuesday, December 15 at St Nicholas Cathedral. The concert will include performances from popular entertainers, choirs with traditional carols and festive readings.

Jonathan Wallis from Barnard Castle is organising the event but isn’t giving away any details of who may or may not be appearing.

“We like to keep the audience guessing right up to the night. However, if I said that in previous years, the sell out audiences have been entertained by established stars such as Tim Healy, Chelsea Halfpenny, Charlie Hardwick, Helen Skelton and Lindisfarne’s Billy Mitchell, it gives you a feel for the caliber of talent on show.”

One set of performers who will definitely be on the bill for the night is the Tyneside based teenage youth choir, The Swing Bridge Singers. The talented youngsters led by Andrew Scott have performed in front of the Queen and worked alongside Aled Jones, Ant and Dec and Barry Manilow.

“This is a great experience for all the choir,” said Andrew.” We are practicing already and we’re all proud to be helping such a good cause.”

Ex Lindisfarne drummer, Ray Laidlaw will once again produce the show that has always delighted the packed out audience.

Ray, said: “This is our fourth year and every penny goes towards helping young people with cancer. The Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for young people with this terrible disease. Every day, seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer. That number is far too big and the charity makes sure that young people with cancer get the best quality care, support and advice there is.”

Teenage Cancer Trust has two specialists units in the North East within NHS hospitals that brings young people together to be treated by teenage and young adult cancer experts in a place designed just for them. The first is for 13-18 year olds and is located at the Great North Children’s Hospital (RVI) and the other is for ages 18-24 at the Freeman Hospital.

Nigel McMinn, Managing Director, Lookers Plc, Motor Division, “Benfield are absolutely delighted to continue our community activity in the North East by supporting this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust’s annual Christmas Concert. Benfield have a long association with the St. Nicholas Cathedral through its significant Charitable Trust donations, so it is therefore very fitting that we develop our relationship further by sponsoring this year’s Christmas Concert in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.

“We are planning to raise as much awareness as possible for this fantastic event and hoping to raise some more valuable funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust with some joint fund raising activity across our 30 dealerships and the 1600 staff we employ across the region.”

Christmas at the Cathedral will take place on December 15 at 7pm. Tickets £15 plus booking fees are now available from the City Hall box office on 0191 277 8030 or online at www.newcastlecityhall.org . Any companies wishing to support the event either through sponsorship or by VIP ticket packages, should email jonathanwallis@georgefwhite.co.uk

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