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Byline: Tina Junday

BAND leader Keith Morris aims to drum up some cash from our pounds 25,000 Wish fund to support his marching band in Coventry.

He runs the Spirit Of Coventry Marching Band, which has signed up to receive a share of money from our big cash pot.

The band gives underprivileged communities the chance to play music and perform in front of thousands of people. The band members, aged between six and 43, have won top awards including being crowned British Associate Class champions by the British Youth Band Association.

The 55-strong crew has not only won an armful of national awards, but also share close ties with one other.

For Zoe Merritt, of Radford, being part of a marching band has changed her life.

The 18-year-old said: "I had no confidence at all - I used to find it hard making friends and talk to people.

"Now I find it really easy and it's all because of the band. Now I don't have much spare time at all! I'm glad to be part of an amazing group of people.

They are like a second family, I have friends younger than me and 20 years older - age doesn't really matter at all."

One of its former members was Emily Single who was given a prestigious award at the British Marching Band Championships in 2010.

The Caludon Castle pupil practised regularly despite a number of health problems stemming from being diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of four. She left the band in November last year after 15 months of chemotherapy and several operations.

Corps director Keith Morris said: "She is now in remission and had regular check-ups every six months. She is the epitome of what banding is all about. She is an inspiration to everyone who has to battle adversity."

He added: "I am so proud of what the band has achieved both as a group and individually. We've seen children grow and develop.

"The cash we receive would go towards getting more children involved in the band who are from poor backgrounds. We are getting our music out there for children who wouldn't normally get that opportunity.

"We're also raising cash for a vibraphone - it's a musical instrument which would improve the quality of sound from the band but they cost pounds 3,000."

"A majority of our children are from poor backgrounds - we put up adverts in schools and shops and most of the time we get a good outcome."

One of the youngest members is Keith's daughter Jessica, aged six. She said: "I love it when we do a show.

"We all do a really good job. Everyone is so friendly. This is my first marching season."

THE Coventry Telegraph's Wish 2012 is an exciting campaign to give out pounds 25,000 to local community groups.

Wish 2012 aims to give a welcome boost to organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire battling funding cuts.

Hard-pressed community groups can sign up for free to grab a share of the big cash pot.

Every penny of the pounds 25,000 must go to community groups, clubs, schools and charities across the region.

And it's entirely up to you on how much of it you get - by saving as many tokens as you can that we will be printing in the paper.

Whether you're looking for new equipment, trips away or cash for your community, the Telegraph is here to help with Wish.

Whatever is on your wish list, we can help it come true - and we'll be dishing out your share of the cash in the new year.

Every group registered on our Wish List is guaranteed a share of the money.

The pounds 25,000 cash pot will be divided by the number of tokens collected.

The size of the share depends on support the groups receive from readers who collect tokens printed in the paper.

The bigger your share of tokens, the bigger your slice of cash.

GETTING ON OUR WISH LIST IS EASY If you're a not-for-profit organisation benefiting people in Coventry and Warwickshire, then you should be eligible.

Simply go online to sign up at Once you've been accepted on to our Wish List, you'll be sent out a starter pack giving you all the materials you need to get your supporters ready.

Then it's simply a case of waiting until Tuesday, October 2 when we'll start printing tokens every day for several weeks.

Coventry Telegraph deputy editor Andy Mallabone said: "The community is at the heart of our newspaper and Wish is a fantastic way to help lots of worthy groups and projects in our area.

"In recent months, the Telegraph has highlighted the funding problems facing many hard-working community groups and charities. "Hopefully this money will make a vital difference to dozens of our most deserving community causes which help numerous people across Coventry and Warwickshire in different ways.

"We want as many community groups as possible to sign up to Wish and grab a share of pounds 25,000."

The sooner groups sign up, the more time they will have to drum up support.

A maximum of 200 community groups will be allowed to register.

Registration is on a first come first served basis and will close on September 22.

WHAT TO DO NOW ALL you need to do today is apply to join our Wish List and, if you're accepted, we will send you your free information starter pack.

The only condition is that you must be a not-for-profit organisation benefiting people in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Then simply collect as many tokens as you can!

Don't delay, apply today COMMUNITY groups need to hurry up and register on our Wish List.

More than 90 groups have signed up already and there are only 200 places available.

So if you are a not-for-profit group and want a guaranteed share of the pounds 25,000 cash pot register online today at


FLYING THE FLAG: The Spirit Of Coventry Marching Band
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 13, 2012
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