SCHOOL children striving to study in their impoverished, earthquake-prone country will be able to learn in safety thanks to the generosity of concert-goers and a corporate sponsor.

Around £9,000 is expected to be raised after the Band and Pipers of the Brigade of Gurkhas staged their 19th annual concert in the Dolphin Centre, Darlington, organised by the Yorkshire branch of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, an organisation that has been helping veterans and their families for 50 years.

Branch chairman Col Keith Ryding, a former Gurkha commander, told the audience: “Western Nepal is extremely poor with farmers relying on subsistence farming. Their school comprises mud huts with corrugated iron roofs. This school will now be transformed into earthquake-resistant classrooms thanks to this concert and its sponsor, North-East motor dealer Sherwoods.”

Sherwoods chairman Alasdair MacConachie, who has supported all 19 concerts, said: “My father was a Gurkha commander and I am proud to continue the family’s legacy by helping in any way we can. The GWT is such a worthwhile cause, helping veterans and their families and by providing children with a safe haven in which to learn.”

Col Ryding said GWT had been making a huge difference to people’s lives for five decades. “It used to be that the veterans had to trek for days to one of our centres for help and to collect their pensions,” he said. “Now we have mobile welfare teams who go to them.”

Under the direction of Captain Shane O’Neill, the audience enjoyed a lively mixed repertoire of military band and popular western and Nepali music, as well as the kukri dance and the skirl of the Gurkha pipes.