Valley siblings who raised thousands for charity by playing socially-distanced carols recognsied for their 'amazing' efforts

They brought smiles to the faces of local communities across the Ribble Valley with their uplifting festive carols in the run up to Christmas, all while raising over £6,000 for the East Lancashire Hospice.

Now, Olivia and Matthew Hurst have been honoured with a Rotary Community Service Award for all their hard work and charitable efforts.

The award was presented by former Ribblesdale Rotary President Simon O' Rourke, as one of his last presidential duties before handing over to new president, Liz McGinley.

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Olivia (17), who is a pupil of Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Sixth-Form, has played the cornet for seven years, while 14-year-old Matthew, who attends Ribblesdale High School, Clitheroe, has played the baritone for five years.

Simon O'Rourke presenting the special awards to Matthew and Olivia Hurst

The brother and sister team are members of Lostock Hall Memorial Band and Lancashire Youth Brass Band, but because of the coronavirus pandemic they have not been able to play with their bandmates since March 2020.

So, the considerate duo decided that they couldn't have a December without playing Christmas carols and took it upon themselves to upload a post on Facebook letting people know that they will be playing socially-distanced carols in neighbourhoods to boost funds for the hospice.

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They entertained neighbourhoods in Billington, Barrow, Whalley, Langho, Clitheroe, Pendleton and Blackburn, raising an amazing £6,148.50 for East Lancashire Hospice. In total they played 34 concerts – the first one was on December 4th and the last was on Christmas Eve at 4pm.

Because the sheet music for the carols was written for a five-piece brass band, Olivia had to rearrange it so it worked for a cornet and baritone.

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Simon O'Rourke with new Ribblesdale Rotary Club president Liz McGinley

Proud mum, Cathryn Hurst, said the amazing duo were overwhelmed with the number of bookings and hoped that they brought some Christmas cheer to residents whilst raising money for the hospice. They are absolutely delighted to receive the Rotary award."