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Belfast Pops Orchestra hitting the right note for The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity

22 May 2022

The Belfast Pops Orchestra is back in town to host a celebratory tenth anniversary concert in aid of The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity on Saturday 25th June at the Ulster Hall.

World renowned violinist, Patrick Rafter will be joining the 75 strong Orchestra which is comprised of musicians from all kinds of backgrounds, disciplines and age groups. Hosted by John Toal, the evening will showcase contemporary to classical music with Conductor, Colin Scott at the helm and renowned local vocalist, James Huish.

The amateur Orchestra organises this fundraising event in aid of local causes every year, however the chosen charity for 2022 has a special meaning to one of the members. Leader, Stephen Cullen was inspired by his experience at the Children’s Haematology and Oncology Unit at the Royal when his daughter received treatment. Stephen is also a Consultant Anaesthetist, who worked as a Trainee at the Children’s Hospital, so he knows only too well the work that goes in to caring for young patients and hopes the event will raise vital funds to support their services.

Speaking ahead of the event, he said: “In my line of work, I understand the impact of vital medical services but it’s a whole different story when it comes knocking on your own door. Like all families, we never expected a childhood cancer diagnosis in our home. Since then, I have witnessed first-hand the amazing team at the Unit who work tirelessly to help children and families like ours during the most difficult period in our lives. 

“The concert was postponed last year due to the pandemic, so it’s great that after a long hiatus we can get back to  enjoying a wonderful night of music to mark a decade together while supporting such a fantastic cause. Whatever people’s musical taste, the show will have something for everyone so we hope anyone who enjoys good music can join us for a brilliant night.”

Every year, between 60 -70 children are diagnosed with cancer in Northern Ireland. Each of these children will visit the Children’s Cancer Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children as it is the only place where children with cancer and blood disorders can receive specialist treatment. The Children Cancer Unit Charity supports the work of the medical teams that care for these vulnerable young patients, as well as their families. 

Speaking on behalf of the Charity, Anna McDonald, added: “We were fortunate to get a behind the scenes look at rehearsals and it’s safe to say concert goers have a fantastic night in store. We heard snippets from James Bond, Star Wars and even a soundbite of what could only have been Adagio for Strings. It was superb!

“At the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity, our mission is to provide the necessary support to ensure children living with cancer in Northern Ireland receive the best possible care. We do this through additional provision of staff, purchasing essential equipment, and funding research and training for our teams at the Unit, as well as supporting families directly. 

“Like all charitable organisations, our fundraising opportunities were greatly reduced over the last two years. The funds generated at this event will go a long way in allowing us to carry out this vital work. We are very grateful for the continued support and we are counting down the days to the big performance.”

Concert tickets start at £12.50 with all proceeds going to The Children’s Cancer Unit Charity.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit: