Hi everyone, Niamh and Philana here!
We are delighted to be hosting our second ‘Blakes of the Hollow Virtual Open Mic Night... Christmas Edition!’ as a fundraiser for an incredibly deserving charity, now more than ever, Help Musicians NI. Every year around Christmas we host our Open Mic Night in Blakes and enjoy bringing together the amazing talent that Fermanagh has to offer. With gigs cancelled and another lockdown on the way, we are still determined to keep the tradition going and this time with greater intent. After speaking with Nikki MacRae and Meghan Gilleece from Help Musicians NI, hearing of and experiencing the amazing work this charity do to support musicians struggling at this extremely difficult time, we knew we had to do something.
For nearly 100 years, Help Musicians NI (HMNI) has provided a broad spectrum of help, support and opportunities to empower musicians aged 18+, at any stage of their career or retirement, from times of great need to times of opportunity, providing a lifetime of support when it is needed most.
Mental health and wellbeing are at the core of this charity. In 2017, HMNI launched Music Minds Matter, a 24 hour helpline service open 7 days a week linking advice, signposting, clinical pathways and professional therapeutic services to musicians in need. If you work in music and are struggling to cope, or know someone who is, call Music Minds Matter. It doesn’t have to be a crisis, or about music. Their Music Minds Matter Counsellors are there to listen, support and help at any time. Whatever you’re going through right now, you can contact Music Minds Matter on 0808 802 8008.
Not only that but the latest initiative from HMNI offers financial support until March 2021 to musicians who have fallen through the gaps of government support or are unable to make ends meet. So if you are reading this and would like help, please reach out to them.
Support from our community through fundraising events such as these, ensures that this incredible charity can continue to provide tailored help and support for musicians at a time when they need it the most. So please, give what you can to show your support.
We want to thank everyone at Help Musicians NI for all that they do and we hope this fundraiser will be a great success for them! To everyone taking part, watching and donating, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We hope you all enjoy the wonderful night of music for a great cause!