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Rock choir concert raises money for charity scammed out of £10,000

Jo Searle, chief executive of The Bridge Project (third from left) had her head shaved along with four other staff and volunteers at the concert Picture: ALLISON BURKE PHOTOGRAPHY

Jo Searle, chief executive of The Bridge Project (third from left) had her head shaved along with four other staff and volunteers at the concert Picture: ALLISON BURKE PHOTOGRAPHY

Allison Burke

A Suffolk charity which lost £10,000 to online fraudsters has hailed the support of the community following a fundraising concert.

The Bridge Project, which is based in Sudbury, lost the money after being tricked into making three online payments from the end of November until mid-January.

The charity, which supports people with dementia, learning disabilities and those experiencing mental health problems, thought it was paying a supplier but had been given bogus details. The money has not been traced.

The Sudbury Rock Choir held a sold-out show at St Peter’s in the town on Saturday, March 9, in aid of the charity and more than £3,250 has so far been raised from the event.

The show had already been planned prior to the online fraud, but the choir was determined to raise as much money as possible for the charity.

The concert attracted around 250 people and Peter Routley, from the choir, said the show “exceeded all expectations”.

“It was a fantastic evening,” he said. “We couldn’t believe the turnout, it was the first time we had experienced an audience of that size.

“It was overwhelming and exceeded all our expectations. The concert was already planned but it made it extra special given what happened beforehand.

“A special thank you must go to our conductor Adam Abo-Henriksen, who brings so much energy and enthusiasm to our performances.”

The concert included a raffle and five people from the Bridge Project – three staff and two volunteers – took part in a sponsored head shave on the night.

Jo Searle, chief executive of The Bridge Project, who was one of the five people to have her head shaved at the concert, said: “It was absolutely incredible. We had to turn people away at the door.

“The choir were fantastic and the kindness and generosity of people in the community was overwhelming, we really couldn’t have asked for any more.

“We’ve got a running total of £3,253, which is absolutely amazing.”

For more details, or to make a donation to the charity, call 01787 313691 or go to The Bridge Project’s website at www.thebridgeproject.co.uk

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