Marlow memorial concert raises more than £400 for military charity

12 March 2015 12:00

A local big band recently held a special concert raising more than £400 for Blind Veterans UK in honour of a former band member who received support from the military charity.

BBO Big Band dedicated the concert, which was held in Marlow on February 26, to Peter Mayhew, trombone player and one of the founding members of the band in 1986.

Peter sadly passed away in November and it was decided to hold the concert to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national military charity that supported Peter with specialist equipment and training as his sight drastically deteriorated in his later years.

Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan's) is the national organisation for vision impaired ex-service men and women, and believes that no one who has served our country should battle blindness alone. The charity provides blind and vision impaired ex-service men and women with lifelong support including welfare support, rehabilitation, training, residential and respite care.

The special concert was arranged by BBO Big Band. The 20 piece band was formed in 1986 and gets its name from the three counties the original members were drawn from, namely: Bucks, Berks, Oxon. Throughout its 29 year history, the band has raised in excess of £345,000 for charity through the many concerts given.

Hilary Spiers, a member of the band, said: "As a founder member of the BBO Big Band, Peter played a massive part in raising over £345,000 for charity.

"He spoke so highly of Blind Veterans UK so we wanted the money raised from this concert to support them.

"As a musician, losing his sight was particularly difficult for Peter and the charity provided him with vital support."

The concert was attended by John Cantwell, a friend of Peter's, who also receives support from Blind Veterans UK, and runs one of the charity's lunch clubs which Peter attended.

John said: "Peter loved playing with this band so much and this concert really was a fitting tribute to a great man.

"Blind Veterans UK provided him with support and equipment to allow him to continue to live as independently as possible and I know that the money raised through this concert will help more blind and vision impaired veterans."