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'People seem to really enjoy what we do' - The popular band raising money across north Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 10:24 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:41 12 June 2019

Fakenham Ukes travel across the local area raising money for charity and have been nominated for The Times' Unsung Heroes campaign. Picture: Supplied by Graham Thomas

Fakenham Ukes travel across the local area raising money for charity and have been nominated for The Times' Unsung Heroes campaign. Picture: Supplied by Graham Thomas

Archant

They started just three years ago with three people and have since grown to include 35 members who travel around north Norfolk raising money for local charities.

Fakenham Ukes play at Cranmer House Community Hub PICTURE: Coutesy of Fakenham UkesFakenham Ukes play at Cranmer House Community Hub PICTURE: Coutesy of Fakenham Ukes

Fakenham Ukes, led by Graham Thomas, 68, perform their ukulele music at concerts and fetes across the local area, collecting money to donate to various different charities.

It is all done voluntarily, with the band asking for donations from those that book them as well as from members of the audience.

The group puts the money into a pot and takes £500 out at different points throughout the year to give to local groups.

Mr Thomas said: "If we can get together, create a little bit of music and have a good time and create funds for needy causes, what's better than that?

Fakenham Ukes play at Cranmer House Community Hub PICTURE: Coutesy of Fakenham UkesFakenham Ukes play at Cranmer House Community Hub PICTURE: Coutesy of Fakenham Ukes

"Over the last three years as we progressed we were asked to do various little gigs. That seemed to grow and people seemed to like us.

"We don't take anything out of it, it all goes to local charities. People that join us absolutely love it."

Recent causes to benefit from the group's fundraising include the family of Lewis Atkins, a 14-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with cancer, Rebecca's Wishes, which supports the families of sick children, and the Age Concern Fakenham minibus, which provides door to door services for people aged over 55.

Last year, Fakenham Ukes gave away around £2,000 to causes in the local area and recently held a concert at St Nicholas Church in Wells.

You can nominate people for The Times' Unsung Heroes campaign. Picture: ARCHANT STAFFYou can nominate people for The Times' Unsung Heroes campaign. Picture: ARCHANT STAFF

The group has become so popular that Mr Thomas has had to stop accepting new members for the time being.

He added: "We try and make it as accessible as we can. We feel as if we're doing a service to our members who enjoy it as well.

"I think we have become a bit more professional as we have progressed, people seem to really enjoy what we do."

On Saturday August 24 at Wells Maltings, Fakenham Ukes and friends will perform a special concert.

Fakenham Ukes have been nominated as part of The Times' Unsung Heroes campaign. Do you know a person or organisation that deserves recognition? To enter fill in our form at www.derehamtimes24.co.uk/heroes.

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