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Former Newbury singer puts together band to aid Ted's Living Paintings fund

“Enjoy the video and all we ask is you donate whatever you can to help Ted and his challenge"

Jonathan Ashby

Jonathan Ashby


01635 886637

Former Newbury singer puts together band to aid Ted's Living Paintings fund

A FORMER Newbury singer has joined the growing supporters of Team Ted – a blind 11-year-old aiming to raise £30,000 for charity Living Paintings.

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, Ted Hardstaff – a Nottinghamshire schoolboy who has been blind since he was two due to Stickler syndrome – took on the challenge of a lifetime by running a mile every day to raise money for the Kingsclere charity.

Supported by his parents and his best friend, JayJay the golden retriever, he achieved his goal on May 21 – with crowds cheering him over the finish line.

Now, singer Emma Lawrence, who grew up in Woolton Hill, but now lives in Bristol, has put together Band 26 – a mix of professional and amateur musicians – to release a charity video in aid of Ted’s cause.

The 26-piece virtual band and choir recreated the song Higher Love, with each performer recording themselves in their home and Ms Lawrence then mixing each track together.

Ms Lawrence, who runs Brunel Studios in Bristol, said she was inspired by Ted’s amazing efforts and wanted to do all she could to help.

She said: “After reading Ted’s story and the amazing efforts he went through to raise money for the Living Paintings charity he truly inspired us to do our bit to help.

“We decided to use our creativity and musical abilities to recreate the song Higher Love.

“The words of this song shine inspiration and we want to spread this feeling. As they say, where words fail, music speaks.”

Words of support for Ted have been coming in from all quarters, including astronaut Tim Peake, TV presenter Clare Balding and champion cyclist Geraint Thomas.

He has already raised more than £20,000 for Living Paintings – a charity which designs, creates and publishes tactile and audio books for blind and partially-sighted people.

During lockdown and home schooling, Living Paintings has continued to run its free postal library, sending out its multi-sensory books to children around the country, enabling them to continue learning and reading despite being unable to go to school or meet friends.

With fundraising activities cancelled, Living Paintings is now relying on donations from charitable efforts to make sure it can continue its work through the coming months.

Ms Lawrence said: “As a musician I have not been able to perform on the live stage during this pandemic so this has given us a wonderful opportunity to use our talents to support a well-deserved cause.

“Enjoy the video and all we ask is you donate whatever you can to help Ted and his challenge.

“As he said, the Living Paintings charity means the world to him and we want to do everything we can to support them.”

To donate to Ms Lawrence and Ted’s cause, go to

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