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The former choirboy raising thousands for CHSW with his gigs

20 May 2024 CHSW

A former choirboy who re-started his singing career as a pensioner has been hitting all the right notes – raising thousands of pounds for Children’s Hospice South West.

Ken Trowbridge, 74, started his singing career in a choir at a congregational church in Poole in Dorset at the tender age of 12.

After performing in the choir during his teenage years, he decided, aged 19, to join a band as a lead singer for 3 years.

“My audition to be in the band was on a Sunday evening,” said Ken

“The venue on Poole Quay was just a few hundred yards from the church so I quickly had to finish with the choir and run to the audition.”

After leaving the band, Ken took a hiatus from singing to concentrate on work and family life.

But following the covid pandemic he decided he wanted to get back into singing.

“My granddaughter was having singing lessons with a vocal coach and one day I went to pick her up,” said Ken

“While listening to my granddaughter I asked the coach whether she would be interested in working with me and she said yes.

After a year of coaching she suggested the best thing I should do was just get out there and sing.

Ken quickly started performing around the Bristol area in bars, restaurants and retirement villages, donating the majority of his fees for performing to Children’s Hospice South West.

Over the years Ken, from Hotwells, Bristol, has raised £5,635 for the charity.

Ken first got involved with CHSW when he was the treasurer of the Bath/Bristol region branch of rugby charity Wooden Spoon.

In 2004 the charity was approached to see if it would help raise money for a sensory room as part of the major project to open a second hospice at Charlton Farm in Wraxall.

The charity managed to raise an incredible £80,000 to pay for the room and the hospice opened its doors in 2007.

“I have had a long relationship with CHSW,” said Ken

“When Charlton Farm opened in 2007 we had a grand tour.

It was amazing to see what the money we raised had helped create and see first hand the incredible work done by the team there.

“When I got back into singing I thought it would be great to use that to continue to help CHSW.”

When not behind the mic, Ken, a grandfather of 10, spends time with wife Dawn and the family alongside enjoying a few rounds on the golf course.

His next gig is at The Angel Inn in Long Ashton on June 9 from 4.30pm.

“Take That is performing at Ashton Gate later that day, so I am thinking I can be a warm up gig for them,” joked Ken.

CHSW area fundraiser Amanda Leonard said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know Ken over the past couple years.

“His generous support of the Children’s Hospice South West has been incredible we are truly grateful for the fundraising and the awareness raising of our services that Ken provides at his gigs. 

“It is supporters like Ken who are the backbone of our community and enable us to continue to provide support to local families across Bristol.” 

Children’s Hospice South West has been providing care and support to children with life-limiting illnesses and their families in the South West for over 30 years.

The charity offers specialist palliative care and hospice care for the whole family, a sibling support for brothers and sisters, emergency support, end of life care and a bereavement service.