Truro Cathedral Choir raise £10,000 for the Children of Ukraine

Members of Truro Cathedral Choir have raised £10,244 for UNICEF’s Ukraine appeal in just eight weeks. After smashing their original £3,000 target within days of the launch, the choir, which includes 34 children and 12 adults, has gone on to more than triple its original target including Gift Aid. The appeal will remain open until 24 May to gather final donations.

Within ten days of the outbreak of war, the choir decided to launch its Crowdfunder and to learn an anthem in Ukrainian to support their fundraising and bring them closer to the people of Ukraine. The choir’s moving rendition of  Ave Maria’, by contemporary composer Valentin Silvestrov, was released on Mother’s Day and has since been viewed nearly 3,500 times on YouTube.

The Crowdfunder, in aid of UNICEF’s emergency appeal, ‘Protect Children in Ukraine’, was inspired by young choristers who wanted to use their talents to help their peers caught up in the war.

“It is such brilliant news that singing this beautiful song has raised over £10,000 to help children who are affected by this terrible war. A massive thank you to everybody that has listened to and supported the song so generously. I just wish every day that this awful war would end” - Lawrence, 12, Head Chorister.

 “When we started this appeal by recording the song, I really hoped that we would reach our target of £3000. To raise £10,000 is absolutely unbelievable. I'm proud to know that our efforts here in Cornwall will have helped those suffering in Ukraine.” Josh, 13, Head Chorister.

 “I had no idea that we would raise so much money and I feel really proud to have played a part in this important appeal” Elsie, 13, Chorister.

 “Something very special happens when you sing in another language and idiom and Silvestrov’s beautiful music has brought us much closer to Ukraine. I work with children every day here in the UK. It’s unimaginable what their peers in Ukraine are going through and all the members of the choir were immediately committed to raising as much as we could to help” - Reaction from Mark Hounsell, Tenor Soloist for ‘Ave Maria’

The appeal was supported by Colonel Edward Bolitho, Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall; “I am so proud to hear of the success of Truro Cathedral Choir’s fundraising efforts for the children of Ukraine.  This shows yet again the choristers’ extraordinary skill and the generosity of Cornish people in reaching out to others far beyond Cornwall to help others.”

Tanya Huhnina, a Ukrainian refugee from Cherkasy who has recently resettled in Cornwall, was by chance visiting the cathedral on the night of 21 March, just as the choir was recording ‘Ave Maria’ in Ukrainian. Tanya and her 12-year-old son, Akim, were greatly moved to hear the choir singing in their mother tongue and to witness the start of the fundraiser, saying at the time, ‘God has brought us here tonight.' Hearing this week of the £10,000 total raised by the singers, Tanya said, “My grandmother, who survived the Holodomor and the Second World War, always said, “By helping other people, help yourself. And if you can help, then help the person. Only by doing good to others do we sow good in our own soul”.

Steven Webb, Mayor of Truro who was present when the choir recorded the anthem in Ukrainian said, "It's amazing in the most difficult circumstances when people come together to help others in need. I want to thank all those involved and particularly the young choristers for making a huge difference to those suffering in Ukraine”

Photo Credit: Hugh Hastings