Music gig in Woolpit will raise funds for Milkmaid station renovation project

Green Shoots members Josh Sumerling (guitar), Nina Sumerling (flute), Martha Gurney (sax), Jack Sumerling (melodeon) and Bella Gurney (cahon) ANL-160510-155224001

Green Shoots members Josh Sumerling (guitar), Nina Sumerling (flute), Martha Gurney (sax), Jack Sumerling (melodeon) and Bella Gurney (cahon) ANL-160510-155224001

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A man who believes wholeheartedly in the therapeutic benefits of music is hosting a gig to raise funds for Bury St Edmunds’ ongoing Milkmaid station renovation project.

Terry Walden’s vision to make folk art accessible to the masses led to him being granted planning permission to refurbish the building at the back of the railway station in Fornham Road, and a 35-year lease.

Once complete, Milkmaid groups which currently meet in different locations around the town will have a permanent home.

But with around £540,000 needed to transform the building into the Milkmaid Folk Arts Centre – a place which supports Suffolk’s vulnerable and disadvantaged people through access to folk arts – progress has been slow.

To help build funds and to encourage others to do the same, David Scotford will be hosting a music gig at the Woolpit Institute from 7pm tomorrow.

As well as gaining an appreciation for Mr Walden’s vision through his role with the social work team at West Suffolk House, a recent health scare gave Mr Scotford a more personal insight.

The 51-year-old caught a virus and his body responded by causing his blood vessels to burst, including those in his brain.

He struggled with his speech as he ‘just couldn’t find the words’ to finish sentences and had to have six months of work.

Mr Scotford, who is now about 90 per cent recovered, said music was the one thing that continued to talk to him throughout his ordeal, giving him an even bigger appreciation for how it can help people.

“I love music and I think its therapeutic value is immeasurable,” he said, adding that its importance is ‘generally undervalued’.

Of Milkmaid, he said: “For me it’s a very important charity. People with learning disabilities are often overlooked and don’t speak up for themselves and Terry’s one of the few people who’s worked for years to challenge that.”

The bands playing at tomorrow’s gig are all from Suffolk and include Green Shoots and Back In Tune who are expected to perform traditional songs, The Plimpies and Bex & Freda who will play their own music and The Larks who will finish with a combination of modern ‘folky’ numbers.

Entry will cost £7 for adults and £5 for children.