Folk singer to help charities

Jacqueline McDonald
Jacqueline McDonald

A CHANCE holiday encounter has led to a veteran folk legend backing a fundraising drive for seven Hartlepool charities.

Hartlepool Borough Council Chairman, Councillor Stephen Akers-Belcher happened to meet singer Jacqueline McDonald, who is a former member of the folk group The Spinners, while on holiday.

Coun Akers-Belcher, who has already raised a staggering £15,000 since he was elected to the civic ceremonial role in May, told her about his fundraising effort before she agreed to come to Hartlepool to help in his charity efforts.

Jacqueline, along with Bridie O’Donnell in the 1960s, established the first full-time British female folk-song duo in Great Britain, Jacqui and Bridie.

Hartlepool band Skyran - who are well known for performing ballads and songs from Scotland and Ireland as well as cover versions of Fleetwood Mac, Tracy Chapman and Eva Cassidy - will headline the evening.

A chance meeting between Councillor Akers-Belcher and Jacqueline McDonald on holiday earlier this year resulted in the folk legend heading for Hartlepool.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “I just got talking to Jacqueline on holiday not long after I was installed as chairman of the council in May.

“I was telling her about my fundraising efforts for local young people’s charities and she immediately offered to help and said she would appear at an event in Hartlepool.

“It should be a really enjoyable night. Skyran are a really good band and I am delighted that Jacqueline McDonald is going to make a special guest appearance.

“The support I’ve received so far to help me raise money for seven very worthy local causes and the event at the Pearl Bar on November 30 is another opportunity to raise much-needed funds.”

All of the money raised during the municipal year will be divided between The Belle Vue Youth Project; Central Correctors; Hartlepool Young Carers; NYPD (Nurturing Young People’s Development); The Phoenix Funsters; The Rifty Youth Project and The Wharton Annexe.

Tickets are £8 and include pie and peas.

They are available from the Pearl Bar on (01429) 266345 or from Karen Mason or Eileen Larkin at the Civic Centre on (01429) 523702.

Alternatively, people can email: