Home > News > Debbie’s live lounge fundraiser is top of the pops

Debbie Foster from Gosforth works in the music industry and has fronted local bands since she was 16. Together with her bandmates from The Klack, she has raised thousands for St Oswald’s Hospice, but had to temporarily put down her microphone when all of their gigs were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Determined Debbie didn’t let that stop her, as a recent memory popped up on Facebook and inspired her to do things a little differently. Debbie explains:

“I have sang since I was a child and have performed with lots of bands, including The Klack who I have been with for around four years. The charity medic band is made up of doors, dentists and other clinical workers and over the last twenty years, they have raised over £20,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice. A memory popped up on my Facebook page recently, from a gig we played one Christmas to raise funds for the hospice. I commented to friends that it was such a shame we couldn’t do it again, but then someone suggested why not do a virtual gig instead?

“Covid restrictions meant that I couldn’t get together with the band, so instead I decided to go it alone and host a virtual live party night from my lounge. I invited people to join me on Facebook, downloaded backing tracks and set up my microphone and on Saturday 10th April, I was ready to go. At home there was just me and my rescue dog, and I was a little nervous looking at a blank screen instead of my usual audience and hoping the technology would work, but it all went well. I was amazed that so many people join the live stream, from as far away as Portugal Ireland and the Canaries! The atmosphere was fantastic as I encouraged everyone to kick off their shoes and dance around their living rooms.

“The donations just kept flooding in and one person offered £50 for a request – a Carpenters song! I didn’t actually have that track prepared but a quick YouTube search mean I was able to perform the request and boost the total further.”

Debbie encouraged her virtual audience to donate to St Oswald’s as she performed songs by Dusty Springfield and Sister Sledge and she was shocked to see her total hit £700 as people partied with her.

St Oswald’s is close to Debbie’s heart, as both friends and relatives have been cared for at the hospice. Her late mother, Joyce Erskine, used to volunteer in St Oswald’s charity shop  on Gosforth high street and she supported the hospice at annual fairs and events with her baking and knitting.

Debbie added:

“It was such a lovely evening and everyone said it was just what they needed after months of not going out. It was a great opportunity to get dressed up too – it was the first time I had worn a dress and heels in months! But most of all, it was just brilliant to be able to make a difference to such an important charity and I am so grateful to everyone who danced along and made my first virtual gig a success. I am even considering doing it all again so watch this space!”

A huge thank you to Debbie and all who supported her with her virtual gig. The money raised will support our patients and families and allow us to continue to be there for those who need us.