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West End Performers Team Up With Southend Talent To Raise Money For HARP

West End performers have teamed up with Southend talent for a fundraising concert in support of HARP, Southend’s Homeless Charity.

On Sunday 12th May, the audience at Kings Road United Reformed Church will see singers more used to gracing the West End stage perform alongside some of Southend’s own musical talent.

Local performers include Karen Barnes, ex-professional musical theatre performer, who retrained as a social worker and lives in Westcliff-on-sea; Andrew Palmer, local musician and headteacher of Heycroft Primary School, and Lorna Stevens, a professional pianist, also from Westcliff. They’ll be joined by West End performers Anna Francollini, Alison Pargeter, Emma Jay Thomas and Katie Verner.

A must for musical lovers, the artists will be performing songs from musicals including Wicked, Company, Miss Saigon, Blood Brothers and many more.

Karen Barnes, who is organising the event as well as singing on the night, said: "Having worked in fostering I know that some of the children who come out of the care system can end up homeless.

“We see homelessness all around us. HARP is a really fantastic charity and I have an enormous amount of respect for the work they do. It’s lovely to bring everyone together and sing with friends – some of whom I haven’t sang with since drama school – in aid of such important work."

Andrew Palmer added: “It is a privilege to be supporting HARP, who do such transformational work for Southend’s homeless population.”

Stephen Mansfield, HARP’s Fundraising & Communications Manager, said: “We’re so grateful to Karen and her team for putting on this fantastic event in aid of HARP. It’s only through events like this, and support from our amazing community, that we’re able to help around 1,100 local people each year who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The money raised from this event could help someone take that vital first step away from the streets”.

Tickets are free with donations invited on the day. Tea and coffee will be available. For more information and to reserve tickets, please contact Karen Barnes on 07856 479707 or email Concert12thMay @

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