A musician knocked sideways when both his father and grandfather were diagnosed with cancer responded by penning a song about the family crisis – and now he wants to make sure his heartfelt tune is a hit for charity.

Tom Ryder, who will be performing the song Silence Breaking Through Sound as part of his set at Hitchin Folk Club on Sunday night, said: “I was knocked sideways by the news that firstly my dad, and then my grandad, had been diagnosed with cancer.

“I had been going about my life in the slightly selfish way we sometimes do, but this news changed my entire perspective and made me think about what is actually important.

“In the space of an hour, I wrote a song – and I’d love for the proceeds to raise as much money as possible for a great charity.”

He’s promising that £1 from every sale of the song online will go to Macmillan Cancer Support, but first he needs to raise the cash needed to pay for studio time, a promotional video and marketing to make the most of the opportunity so that he can give something back to the charity which has helped support his father, who has now received a medical all clear, and his grandfather, who has just completed a gruelling course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

He’s already more than half way to his £5,000 target with an eye to launching the charity single next month, and has promised that any money that isn’t devoted to getting the project off the ground will go to Macmillan. You can find out more at www.tomaryder.com.

Tom, 25, who tasted success last year when he won a songwriting prize at Folkstock’s Love Folk Live in Pegsdon, will be making his second appearance at the Sun Hotel venue as a supporting artist.

Headlining this weekend is Blair Dunlop. Admission is £12 for members and £14 for non members, from 7.30pm.