Music fans boost Macmillan funds to tune of £3,500

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The generosity of music fans at the award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival has given a substantial financial boost to an island charity.

The Lewis committee of Macmillan Cancer Support is HebCelt’s nominated charity and festival goers donated cash and tokens during the annual event, which this year was held from 16-19 July in Stornoway.

Over the last three years £3,500 has been collected at the festival to help the important work of the local committee which earlier this year was chosen from more than 650 other groups for the Macmillan Committee of the Year Award.

Caroline Maclennan, HebCelt’s director, said: “We are proud to have Macmillan as our nominated charity because of the valuable and caring work the charity does locally. I am delighted that, through the generosity of festival goers, we can help their funds as part of our commitment to the community.”

Margaret Ann MacIver, vice chair of the Lewis Macmillan Cancer Support committee, added: “This is a wonderful gesture from HebCelt and its followers. The money raised will help us continue to work towards ensuring no-one faces cancer alone.”

Macmillan also benefited from a song written by Lewis singer Willie Campbell especially for HebCelt and performed for the first time in public at this year’s festival.

Welcome Home was inspired by the Year of Homecoming and Campbell’s decision to return to his native Lewis after a decade living in Glasgow. It was released as a digital download single through SoundCloud and Bandcamp with all proceeds going to Macmillan.

HebCelt was recently named as a finalist in the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards. It has been shortlisted in the Best Event or Festival section of the awards. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Inverness on 7 November.

This year’s event staged its biggest ever programme of 40 acts, headlined by Big Country, Levellers and Donnie Munro. A huge influx of music fans from overseas made up half the estimated 14,000-strong audience which provided a major economic boost for the islands.