Hitchin counselling charity duets with 80s pop star Kim Wilde in £20,000 fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 14:02 13 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:12 14 October 2019

Tilehouse Counselling raised more than £20,000 on an evening of acoustic music in September. Picture: Steve Granger

Tilehouse Counselling raised more than £20,000 on an evening of acoustic music in September. Picture: Steve Granger

Archant

A Hitchin counselling charity has joined forces with 80s pop star Kim Wilde in a mammoth fundraising effort.

Kim's husband Hal Fowler warmed up the crowd with some swing classics. Picture: Steve GrangerKim's husband Hal Fowler warmed up the crowd with some swing classics. Picture: Steve Granger

Tilehouse Counselling raised more than £20,000 at the charity's acoustic music evening in September, hosted The Farmhouse at Redcoats near Little Wymondley.

More than 120 supporters and patrons watched as Kim rolled out acoustic versions of her greatest hits.

She was also joined on stage by local guitarist and singer Ben Smith. The pair wowed guests with renditions of Motown classics.

Earlier in the evening, Kim's husband, Hal Fowler - chair of Waste Not Want Not in Stevenage - serenaded the room with some gentle swing covers.

80s pop star Kim Wilde performed at the event after a chance encounter with Sarah Free last year. Picture: Sean Vincent80s pop star Kim Wilde performed at the event after a chance encounter with Sarah Free last year. Picture: Sean Vincent

He then invited Lucy Coyle - a youth ambassador for Tilehouse Counselling - on stage for a duet of 'Shallow' from A Star is Born.

Kim said: "It was a magical ambience at Redcoats, with incredible food, and the warmest of welcomes from our community helping to create an unforgettable evening. Performing there felt very much like a family affair."

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Sarah Free, patron of Tilehouse counselling, organised the event after a chance encounter with Kim in a Herts country lane. After explaining the vital work of the charity over a cup of coffee, Kim was on board.

"It's been a long time in the making, given Kim's demanding schedule," Sarah said.

"But we at Tilehouse are so incredibly grateful for the time she has put in to help us.

"Kim has a genuine emotional connection to the charity, as a mother of teenage children herself, and we look forward to her remaining a good friend in the years to come."

The Hitchin-based charity provides free, professional counselling for 13 to 18 year olds, as well as affordable help for adults.

The mammoth sum of £20,000 will go towards raising awareness of the charity which operates across the North Herts area.

Tilehouse director Sue Barnes said: "It was so gratifying to get this support and see so much goodwill in the room on the night."

Kim Wilde - who lives in Hertfordshire - was the most-charted British female solo act of the 1980s, with 17 UK Top 40 singles. Kim is currently on tour promoting her latest album 'Aliens Live'.

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