A WORLD famous songwriter and saxophonist is helping to raise much-needed funds for a Coventry baby hospice which supports children with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses.
Talented UB40 artist Brian Travers, who is currently touring with band mates Robin Campbell, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer and Norman Hassan, first heard about the work Zoe’s Place does through a mutual friend.
From there, Brian has made an impromptu appearance at the charity’s Mardi Gras Ball, donated two pieces of his own artwork and pledged to support the hospice for another 12 months.
The 57-year-old helped raise a staggering £60,000 in one night at the Mardi Gras Ball, and he said there’s no reason why he shouldn’t help out the charity which does wonderful work.
He added: “If I can use my art to help a fantastic cause then why not offer my support.
“I’ve always painted, I find it very meditative and I’ve done a lot of it for charity in the past.
“If someone asks me for a signed picture of the band I’d rather give them a painting.
“You can really do a lot for charity with a painting – look at the likes of Michael Owen who has been known to snap them up for tens of thousands if it helps a good cause.
“It can help achieve so much.”
The married father-of-two first tasted success in the music industry when meeting fellow band mates at the Moseley Road School of Art in the 70s.
However he now spends his days painting as a way of relaxing – and during his speech at the Mardi Gras Ball, Brian made an impassioned plea to guests to continue their ongoing support.
In order for Zoe’s Place to remain open, the hospice must raise £1.3 million a year – on top of the £29,000 it costs to train a nurse.
Brian said: “On top of all the hospices’ other responsibilities in keeping its doors open and providing a safe haven for the children, it has to find that money.
“When I visited the hospice, the day was filled with love, laughter, hope and courage.
“It is the most incredible place and I don’t mind admitting it left me feeling overwhelmed and certainly put life into perspective.
“I’m aiming to raise enough money to pay for the training of at least one nurse if not two – I’d raise money for them all if I could.”
“If everyone reading this could go away and tell ten of their friends about this incredible cause, it would be one of the best things you could do for Zoë’s Place.”
Muna Chauhan, corporate manager for Zoe’s Place, said: “Brian’s support is exactly the type of help Zoe’s Place needs to remain open.
“He’s an incredibly talented artist and we are grateful to him for using his exceptional gift to help us cast the net across the wider area.”
Visit www.zoes-place.org.uk/coventry to find out more about Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.