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Permanent LinkJan 18, 2010 
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:surprised2: Hard-working busker Derek Allan is about to embark on his toughest gig yet - playing 10 sets of 10 hours in 10 different venues.
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The singer-songwriter’s fundraising efforts will see him play for 10 consecutive nights as he pulls out all the stops to help Grace House Hospice Appeal to reach its latest target.

And not content with that, he is issuing a universal offer of help to any small charities or individuals who need a helping hand getting together the money they need.

Derek, 34, from Red Row in Northumberland, first came to the attention of Journal readers when he performed seven consecutive 12-hour gigs in seven different Northumberland pubs, with no backing group.

The exertion left Derek, who suffers from epilepsy, exhausted and he almost fainted several times during the gigs.

He also temporarily lost the sensation in his fingers from playing the guitar and friends warned him he could do permanent damage.

He had taught himself the guitar only weeks beforehand after his guitarist left. It was tough at times, too, as while he was cheered into the pubs and given help by other musicians, at quieter times he would be almost alone and had to find the determination to carry on.

But the effort was worthwhile as he raised £810 for Grace House North East Children’s Hospice Appeal, which is raising funds for a new location in Sunderland.

He has vowed to carry on until Grace House meets its targets, and is unphased by the 100-hour gigathon. He has even written six new songs so that he does not need to repeat his set so often.

Derek, who runs concert planning business Acoustic Magic and bid to have Christmas number one last year with his hit Winter’s Kiss, said: “Last time I couldn’t play the guitar for weeks afterwards.

“Everyone said you’d probably damage your fingers for life and I thought that was a bit rubbish, but they’re OK now. I nearly did faint – my brother sat near us because he thought I was going to have a fit.

“But I’ll carry on with this until they reach their target. They don’t get funding so it takes scruffs like me to do it. They need help and that’s the craic. You look at people who aren’t very well and you can’t just not bother.”

Derek will play at a series of pubs in Northumberland in February, and also in South Shields and Sunderland. He has also asked any small charities which need help to contact him at nightsailcbs@aol.com

JournalLive.co.uk


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