UCLan musician releases Christmas single to raise funds for the Lancashire charity that supported his recovery
UCLan's recording label releases single in aid of Burnley based Church on the Street Ministries.
Today, the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) music recording label, UCLan Recordings, has released a Christmas charity single written and performed by one of their students, Burnley born Paul Wolski.
Profits from the single, 'Love, Faith, Hope', will go to the Church on the Street Ministries, a North West charity that distributes food aid to disadvantaged people across Lancashire, as well as providing recovery and counselling for alcoholics, addicts, and people suffering with mental health issues.
MA Music Industry Management and Promotion student Paul wanted to help the Burnley-based charity after it supported him through his own substance misuse recovery in 2014.
The 39-year-old, who now lives in Blackpool, was reunited with Pastor Mick Fleming, a former drug addict and gang member who runs Church on the Streets, by chance after seeing the Pastor on BBC News last year discussing poverty issues in Burnley.
Following their reunion, Paul decided he wanted to help his old mentor and the idea for the charity single was born.
However, the song itself has actually been almost 25 years in the making as Paul wrote 'Love, Faith, Hope' when he was just 15-years-old, but he had to take time out of the music industry to focus on his recovery and now, eight years clean and sober, he has finally recorded his single.
Paul said: “Through recovery I’ve been given a new life, and now I want to help people suffering with addiction through music. If this song can help raise money to positively impact the lives of vulnerable people, then this will be a good thing. It will be an honour to help Pastor Fleming's cause.
“I feel proud of the track, but there's also a little apprehension because it isn't the typical happy and jolly Christmas song.
“Rather, it can be dark in places and covers unconventional Christmas themes such as philosophy, morality, drug addiction, self-harm, crime, and poverty. Many parts of the song express the Christmas experience through the eyes of those suffering on the bottom-rung of society's ladder. It’s designed to challenge us into thinking about people other than ourselves.”
Pastor Mick Fleming, who now dedicates his life to helping society’s most vulnerable people, was Paul’s 12-step sponsor and guided him to recovery.
Mick said: “To see how far Paul has come is mind-blowing. It’s wonderful to see the progress he has made and how he is now able to give back to others.
“We work every day with people who struggle through life and Paul’s song reflects this. It is both empowering and heart-warming to see how much love, effort and care Paul has put into a song that will help the Church on the Street Ministries.”
To release the single, 'Love Faith Hope', Paul worked with chart-topping music producer Lee Monteverdi, an English dance artist and producer who was part of the group LMC, famous for the number one hit Take Me To The Clouds, and for producing top-40 remixes for Erasure, Danni Minogue, and Shania Twain.
Lee said: “'Paul did a great job putting the record together and I was really happy to have been asked to mix it and add some additional production. It's great that it will help the charity.”
Paul added: ““It was good fun working with Lee, he was incredibly efficient, and I learnt an awful lot from him in a very short space of time. He's a true professional and I'm immensely grateful to have been afforded the opportunity. I wrote this song when I was 15 years old, so it blows me away to finally hear what it sounds like with a full line up of instruments.”
UCLan Recordings Group is a university based music label with a digital framework to support students, alumni, staff musicians and the local music scene.
Dr Les Gillon, who runs UCLan Recordings Group, said: “This is really inspiring work, and UCLan Recordings is proud to support it. Paul has done a great job in making this record and I’m so glad we were able to bring in Lee Monteverdi to add his particular brand of magic to the production.
“It’s a great example of academia and the creative industries coming together to raise awareness of a project that helps the most vulnerable in our society.”
'Love Faith, Hope', can be downloaded for free here, but there is also an option to donate to the cause by paying what you wish for the single.
You can visit the Church on the Street Ministries website to find out more about the charity, including how to get involved or donate.