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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Big support for vital Cumbrian charity

The community united as bands took to the stage to raise money for one of Cumbria’s most vital charities.

A host of local acts plus special guests joined forces on Saturday night at Carlisle’s Sands Centre, to support Cumbria Rape Crisis, which provides a lifeline for Cumbrian victims of rape and serious sex crime.

The charity revealed in October that unless it found emergency funding it would have to close its doors to the hundreds of victims it supports every year.

However, a News & Star campaign driven by readers managed to raise more than £25,000 to give the charity a reprieve and help it secure its long-term future.

After seeing the campaign, school teacher Sarah Ledger rounded up a host of local acts including Colt 45, Bitzer, Dawn Foster and Laura James, to put together the Bands at the Bar concert with all the proceeds going to the charity.

The teacher from William Howard School, in Brampton, said: “I work with young people so I see the significance that Cumbria Rape Crisis has. I felt like it was a local charity that was being neglected and needed action. All the bands have given their time for free.”

The night started with singer-songwriters Dawn Foster and Laura James who enthralled the crowd so much that you could hear a pin drop throughout their renditions.

It was then the turn of cover band Bitzer and Kent-based group Electric River, who livened things up before Colt 45 got the crowd on their feet with an outstanding performance.

Adam Lewis, from headliners Colt 45 said the band were more than happy to support the event.

“When Sarah first suggested it to me I knew the date would fall quite nicely,” he explained.

“It is such a good cause and it makes sense that it is local bands helping local people. It is a great community event.

“We also brought our friends Electric River from Kent for the gig.”

The event raised £1,120.

Sarah added that if it was deemed a success then she would look to host more regular events.

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