Sussex duo performs for the NHS
Female duo HALO has presented a cheque to the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust after outdoor performances celebrating the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.
Tracey O’Reilly from Durrington and Melissa White from Hangleton have been performing together for more than 15 years.
They held two socially-distanced events, one in Hangleton and one in Durrington, and raised £574, which was presented to Rosie Hemming, community fundraising manager for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, at Durrington Health Centre on Saturday.
Tracey is a matron for the Worthing-based trust, having trained as a nurse after leaving school and worked her way up.
She said: “Obviously the past few months have been extremely challenging due to Covid-19 and therefore singing has enlightened and healed me spiritually in these difficult past few months.”
She said she finds performing an uplifting experience and singing with Melissa ‘takes her to another level’.
Tracey and Melissa were previously the two lead frontwomen of a covers band in Worthing, where they instantly clicked.
They said: “We realised our voices went together naturally, with many people commenting on our ability to harmonise so effortlessly.”
They have always shared the same passion for performing and have a catalogue of covers from the 1960s to present day.
Pre-lockdown, HALO performed at numerous venues along the south coast. Tracey and Melissa are also the two leading female vocalists of Shoreham band RELOAD.
Melissa works for a firm of structural engineers and finds great pleasure in performing.
She is due to have an NHS operation on her thyroid next month, having had it put off since April, and says she has really missed performing regularly but having time off to recover is a bonus.
The NHS birthday concerts were performed on one day in July. The first on Melissa’s driveway was well attended by friends, family, neighbours and passers by. It included a fantastic performance by members of a local dance group, who did a routine to Proud Mary.
Melissa said: “It was a blustery but sunny day and seeing everyone enjoying themselves was electric.”
The girls then went over to Durrington and performed another set to members of the public.
The collection tin raised more than £500 in cash and a JustGiving page was also set up: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/haloduo
For more information about HALO, visit www.facebook.com/pg/Haloduosussex
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