Having heard about how Bognor Regis-based charity My Sister’s House supports victims of domestic abuse across West Sussex during a talk at his church, Barty Hawkins, 12, decided he wanted to raise money to help it continue.
He said: “I had not heard of them before but I thought it was a really good cause which I would like to help. I’ve always loved singing. I want to be an opera singer. This wasn’t about getting my name out, I just really wanted to help.”
With the help of his dad, Simon, a music producer, Felpham Community College student Barty recorded his version of ancient Christmas carol O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
My Sister’s House CEO Julie Budge said Barty’s response to her talk at St Mary’s Church was ‘simply amazing’.
She said: “We are humbled and so excited to be chosen as Barty’s charity of the year. It’s the most heartwarming, amazing song by this 12-year-old. Get the tissues ready as it reaches your heart.”
Barty’s mum Sandra spoke of the pride she has for her son who ‘has always loved singing’. She said: “He has loved singing since before he could talk. He does drama and is in the school choir. When reading, he used to sing the lines to whatever tune he fancied.”
It isn’t the first time Barty and his family have raised money for charity through music. In 2013 and 2014 they raised a combined £2,500 for Compassion International, which supports women and children. However, after Simon suffered a brain haemorrhage, they haven’t been able to make a song again until now. The new song is available on Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music and has so far raised £475. To help Barty reach his £2,000 target donate at https://localgiving.org/fundraising/o-come/.