Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Snow Patrol's notes are a hit with cash gift to Derry charity

Gary Lightbody
Gary Lightbody

Top Northern Ireland band Snow Patrol have been hailed as heroes after donating £20,000 to a cancer unit in Londonderry.

The chart-topping group made the donation to the Western Health Trust.

The money will be used to help fund the Sperrin Suite at Altnagelvin Hospital in the city.

It will go towards specialist furniture, TVs, games consoles, laptops and iPads and music devices – all aimed at making patients more comfortable during their treatment.

Cancer survivor Clare Henderson said the musicians were real heroes. She said: "This is awesome, great to see a unit where I got treated being supported, making things better for cancer patients."

The band made the generous gesture after their sold out acoustic shows at the Waterfront Hall at Christmas.

Frontman Gary Lightbody told fans that all money from the gigs would be donated to children's charities and hospital wards.

Not only did the band agree to donate all money, but to double it.

A total of £30,000 was generated through ticket sales. That was matched by the band.

Snow Patrol have been heavily involved in the UK City of Culture celebrations. They allowed their song Just Say Yes to become the anthem for the bid.

Earlier this year Lightbody – whose parents hail from the Fountain and Rosemount areas of Derry – and bandmate Johnny McDaid, a St Columb's College old boy, set the stage alight at the Sons and Daughters concert which opened the City of Culture year. During the gig Gary spoke of his Derry roots and how proud the band were to be backing the City of Culture year.

Staff at the Sperrin Suite at Altnagelvin last night issued a massive thank you to the band. The Western Trust said Snow Patrol were renowned for their generosity and endless donations to fund charities.

A number of local staff were also invited to the gigs in Belfast.

Chemotherapy unit manager Caroline Oates said: "Being such a big fan of the band I was astounded when I received the call from Snow Patrol's management team explaining 'We are delighted to say that Snow Patrol will be donating £20,000 to the Western Trust chemotherapy unit'.

"Their generosity has been totally overwhelming and I would personally like to thank them as their donation will make a huge impact in providing comforts for patients undergoing treatment."

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