WEST Byfleet Community Choir have donated £150 to the local Matthew Hackney Foundation from the money raised at a summer concert.

“We held a wonderful Jubilee jazz concert in July and the money from refreshments will go to the foundation,” said Jo Pritchard, the choir’s chairman.

“We invited Richard and Penny Hackney [Matthew’s parents] to one of our choir meetings at West Byfleet Infant School so that we could present the cheque there.”

The charity was set up in memory of 12-year-old Matthew, who died some 10 years ago. He needed various medical treatments for most of his life and was enthusiastic in raising money for charities, including Great Ormond Street Hospital. Penny and Richard set up the foundation in Matthew’s memory.

Penny said: “We were delighted to attend the choir practice session, which sounded wonderful, and to collect the amazing donation from the choir of £150.  Everyone was really friendly, and the practice looked like lots of fun.

“Donations like this really help us to support children and young people with their mental health. The Matthew Hackney Foundation has supported over 500 children with counselling sessions within 23 Surrey schools and in private part-funded counselling sessions.

“The charity relies on generous donations like this to continue the support we provide. There is limited funding for mental health services for our young people.

“Approximately one in six children and young people need support with their mental health. A small percentage of them are eligible for NHS treatment, and those that are may have a long wait.

 “We know that if we can support children and young people as soon as possible, we may be able to prevent problems worsening, and give them tools to help with possible repeating issues.”

The choir, a regular fundraiser for local charities, has been running since 2016 and meets at West Byfleet Infant School every Tuesday from 8pm to 9.30pm, with a charge of £6 per session.

There are currently about 26 members of all ages, who enjoy a great sense of fun and togetherness singing an extensive repertoire covering shows, traditional songs, classic pop songs and more.

The first Tuesday of each month also includes a get-together at the local pub after choir so members can get to know each other better.

Anyone wishing to join the choir can begin with a free taster session.

* FOR more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.wbcc.uk.  There is also a Facebook page under West Byfleet Community Choir.