Ted and Denise Pearson are riding the length of the United Kingdom by cycling nearly 1,000 miles from Land's End to John o' Groats. The husband and wife team left Penzance on Friday (30 August) and called in to the Music Service, based at Graiseley Primary School, yesterday (Thursday 5 September). Cycling around 50 miles per day, they hope to reach the far north east of Scotland by 17 September.
They are undertaking the epic challenge in support of the City of Wolverhampton Council run Music Service, which is raising funds to purchase new rock instruments and equipment and upgrade the lighting system at the Music School so that it can launch new Make Wolves Rock music classes for local children and young people this autumn.
Ted and Denise hope to raise around £2,000 towards the Music Service's target of £5,855, which will then be match funded by the Arts Council of England.
Denise said: "Our eldest grandchild Ella learnt to play the oboe through the Wolverhampton Music Service, and she's now at Cardiff Welsh Royal College studying the oboe. Our grandson Jack played the guitar here and our other grandson Billy played the cello. All of them have benefited so much from the Music Service that we wanted to give something back.”
Ted joked: "The plan was for it to be 312 miles from Land's End to Wolverhampton, but given the fact we got hopelessly lost when we were in Bristol we have added 10 miles onto the trip already."
Ciaran O'Donnell, Head of Wolverhampton Music Service, said: "Wolverhampton has so much talent and a history of producing world class rock and pop musicians, and we’re looking to provide new, free opportunities for the city to find the stars of the future that we know exist in this talented city.
"Our first step is to raise this money and upgrade our equipment so that we can do this to the best of our ability. To have the support of Ted, Denise and the Friends of the Music Service is invaluable. They are an example to everyone and I hope they will convince Wulfrunians to back the Music Service and donate where they can.”
Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "Our Music Service already teaches 5,500 children every week in local schools but we know there is demand for more extra curricular rock and pop opportunities in the city.
“Make Wolves Rock will provide a weekly programme for children and young people interested in songwriting, joining a band or performing on stage in an authentic venue, and it's great to see Ted, Denise and the Friends of the Music Service supporting the fundraising effort in this way."
The Friends Group was formed over 25 years ago to support the work of the music school. They raise funds by raffles, refreshments at events and the school tuck shop, with proceeds used to buy any items requested by the school.
Wolverhampton Music Service provides tuition and musical opportunities for youngsters from schools across the city, including the chance to perform with Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra and Wolverhampton Youth Wind Orchestra. To find out more please visit Wolverhampton Music Service.