A moving song written and performed by a Frome teenager during the coronavirus lockdown is raising thousands of pounds for the children’s hospice where her older sister goes for respite.
Bel Guthrie, 13, wrote Lost and Found in just one day and her song has already raised nearly £8,000 for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) in a matter of weeks.
A video of her performing the song has more than 2,000 views on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, where it caught the attention of The Corrs singer and drummer Caroline Corr, who said: “Beautiful, Bel is so talented and now writing her own songs.”
Bel’s song has also received celebrity support on Instagram from fashion designer Pearl Lowe and London band Balcony, who said it ‘sounds amazing!’.
Bel’s 15-year-old sister Emily has Dravet syndrome, a life-threatening form of epilepsy which means she needs 24-hour care. She normally stays at CHSW’s Charlton Farm hospice at Wraxall near Bristol, both to give her a change of scenery and to give her family some much-needed respite.
Bel said: “Children’s Hospice South West has been a huge help to my family, and with so many of the charity’s normal fundraising events cancelled, I wanted to do something to help.
Charlton Farm is such a happy place and it helps so many families like mine, I’m really happy that my song is raising so much money.
Bel, who counts singer-songwriters Lewis Capaldi, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles, James Blunt, Jess Glynne, Adele and Billie Eilish among her musical inspirations, says her song is about trying to live life to the full.
She added: “This is my first proper song, and I have found my keyboard and playing music very uplifting during lockdown.”
CHSW needs around £11m a year to run its three children’s hospices – Charlton Farm, Little Bridge House in Devon, and Little Harbour in St Austell – and around 85 per cent is raised through voluntary donations.
While the hospices have had to close for routine respite, they are still open for emergency and end-of-life care, and care teams are continuing to offer lifeline support during the lockdown both virtually and by visiting families in their own homes.
CHSW Community Fundraiser Frances Kenneally said: “Bel’s song is absolutely beautiful and we are just thrilled that she has decided to use her talents to help CHSW, which supports around 500 families like hers around the South West.
“Lockdown brings so many challenges to us all, but to see people like Bel continue to support the charity despite these challenges is hugely inspiring.”