Music stars help Hartlepool charity pass £200k milestone

Tony, centre, with The Blow Monkeys.
Tony, centre, with The Blow Monkeys.

A charity which raises cash for cancer through the power of music has reached another milestone.

Music v Cancer hosted a double weekender event with a sell-out audience packing into Hartlepool’s Grand Hotel.

Tony Larkin.

Tony Larkin.

The charity, now in its sixth year, raised more than £10,600 over the two nights, taking the total to £200,103.

Founder Tony Larkin was successful in his own battle with bowel cancer.

All of the money raised is used for vital awareness campaigns and to buy state of the art cancer detection and screening equipment in hospitals in Teesside, meaning cancer can be picked up in patients in the very early stages when it is more likely to be treated successfully.

Tony said: “We didn’t have a target when we set off back in 2010, we had initially planned to do just the one gig as a thank you to the people who treated me.

Almost everybody I know has had their lives touched by cancer at some point. I lost my father to cancer when I was young. It’s important for us to get involved and help raise awareness and funds for early detection, support sufferers and keep up the fight

Dr Robert of The Blow Monkeys

“But then it snowballed, we did a second event and our target then was to raise £65,000 in five years to fund the first piece of kit for the hospital.”

But £80,000 was reached inside 18 months, and now it stands at £200,000.

Tony added: We’re not saying we’ll do it for another five years or stop when we reach a certain point, we will keep it going as long we can.”

The opening night was dedicated to Tony’s friend and long-serving MvC fundraiser Andy Brown, who lost his own cancer fight in July.

Kimberley Anne was first on stage, followed by The Lake Poets and then headliners The Dunwells.

The following night, Ryan Spendlove got proceedings underway before Kal Lavelle, Son of Dave and The Blow Monkeys.

Dr Robert, from The Blow Monkeys, said: “Almost everybody I know has had their lives touched by cancer at some point. I lost my father to cancer when I was young.

“It’s important for us to get involved and help raise awareness and funds for early detection, support sufferers and keep up the fight.”

Tony added: “I can’t thank the artists enough who travelled from far and wide to support MvC and continue to do so time after time. I’m also grateful to our fantastic sponsors, the home of MvC the Grand Hotel, Basset Audio, ARD Photography and the forever faithful MvC crowd who are so supportive and generous always making the Weekenders a continual sell out event.”