Retirement village fundraising hits right note for local charities

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A photo of Cliff and Eileen Davey

Two local charities are set to benefit from a talented couple’s passionate interest in music.

Cliff and Eileen Davey, who live at Middleton Hall Retirement Village in Middleton St George near Yarm, have raised over £1,000 with a sell-out concert billed as ‘The Magic of the Musicals’. The money will be divided between the Holistic Cancer Care Centre at James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough and the Middleton St George Community Centre fund.

Mrs Davey, 76, first started voice training when she was 11 and has since performed internationally. In 2005, she was the guest artiste on the Orient Express.

It was music that first brought her and her husband Cliff together. They met in 1953 when Cliff, a classically trained pianist who taught himself to play jazz, was a member of band that recruited Eileen as its singer. They have been together ever since.

Since Mr Davey retired in 1991, the couple have employed Eileen’s singing talents to fund-raise for local charities, and have achieved an impressive £17,000 to date.

The latest event at Middleton Hall, which also featured award-winning organist Andrew Nix and sold over 100 tickets, was a spectacular success according to Middleton Hall Retirement Village’s Head of Operations, Andrew Grimston who was very impressed with what the Daveys had achieved.

“We were almost in a position of having to turn people away,” he said. “The Daveys put a fantastic amount of effort into organising this and should be congratulated for creating a superb event.”

Andrew added: “We have a very vibrant community here and this event was a perfect addition to the range of activities that are on offer for both residents and visitors. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.”

Cliff Davey was delighted with response to the concert and paid tribute to his wife.

“Eileen is a very accomplished performer who has never earned a penny from her singing, instead she has been able to use her beautiful voice to support some very worthwhile causes,” he said.

“I am so proud of her and after all these years her wonderful voice still continues to amaze and enthral audiences. At this event we were also very lucky to have Andrew Nix as her brilliant accompanist.”

Many of the Davey’s past events have been in aid of James Cook Hospital’s Holistic Cancer Care Centre but, as residents of Middleton Hall, Mrs Davey explained that they wanted to also help a cause near their home this time.

“We have lived at Middleton Woods for almost two years and absolutely love living here so we decided to donate half of the proceeds towards something to benefit the local community, which we hope will be the refurbishment of the local playground,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Davey, who have just taken delivery of a brand new digital piano, are now busy planning their next event.

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