Mike McDermott (right) an E-Learning Technician at Uxbridge College, Kath Hallahan on vocals, Norman Wiggins on trumpet and Stuart Rattray on guitarMusicians have raised thousands of pounds for charity thanks to a savvy choice by a member of staff at Uxbridge College.Mike McDermott, an E-Learning Technician, used part of a grant he won in a national competition which rewarded excellence
Musicians have raised thousands of pounds for charity thanks to a savvy choice by a member of staff at Uxbridge College.
Mike McDermott, an E-Learning Technician, used part of a grant he won in a national competition which rewarded excellence in college staff – the LSIS Star Awards - to buy stage equipment for concerts.
Since his win three years ago, the PA system, mixing desk and two stage monitors bought out of the £1,500 have been used at concerts held in aid of causes including Watford Peace Hospice, Alzheimer’s Society and Cancer Research UK.
Around £7,000 has been raised through the events with the support of organisations including Hertfordshire University, where the most recent concert was held.
Mike (61), of Watford, who has played the guitar at the concerts and is also a veteran bagpipe player, said: “Only good things have come of this prize money. This equipment keeps raising its head whenever there’s a charity do, and it’s paid for itself many times over. And it’s not only benefited the charities - it’s brought together people of all different ages to play music which was also very important to me.
“The odd thing at the latest event at Herts Uni’s Club de Havilland was that the young musicians were all postgraduates in music playing classical instruments, while us older guys were playing guitars, keyboards and drums!”
In the concerts Mike has played alongside his sons Mark, a paramedic and guitarist, and Robert, who is a police detention officer and plays the drums, as well as performing with his singer daughter-in-law, Sophie. Sophie is also a member of staff at Uxbridge College and works as an administrator.
Mike’s prize money also covered small grants to three members of his team at college – the E-Learning team which supports students through the use of online resources – who were all doing part-time degrees and have now completed their studies.