Sunderland Coffee Shop Session raises £100 for RNLI

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Spark Sunderland has raised more than £100 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), with a showcase of performances by North East musicians.

The student-led media organisation decided to extend their “local music guarantee” with a Coffee Shop Session, which took place in the Starbucks of Sunderland’s Murray Library.

Cohesion, Ryan Bird and VK2 were among the ten bands and solo-performers who took to the stage for 30 minutes each on February 22.

Andy McGill is a trainee crew member with the cause.

He said: “Locally, for Sunderland RNLI, these things are very important because we are an individual charity.

“All of the funds raised go towards crew equipment and essential supplies that we use for the activities that we do to operate.

“The events are vital and we really appreciate them. We are currently raising money to buy a new inshore life boat, which will cost about £40,000.”

Jay Sykes, Spark’s social media editor and the organiser of the event, said: “Our charity of the year is the RNLI and we want to raise as much money as we can. And we also want to promote the best of talent here in the community of Sunderland.

“There’s not the best support network out there, if you don’t know where to go. If you are a band here in Sunderland you need to have someone who can take you to bigger places. Spark is trying to be that radio station.”

Usman Amin and Anthony Danson performed at the event. They said: “We appeared on Spark before, so they asked us to come.

“It’s good for local talent. It gets people realising how good we are up here in the north east. The crowd today were insane. I think people really appreciate live music – it’s incredible.”

As the first Coffee Shop Session was a success, Spark is hoping to arrange more events in aid of the RNLI.

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