THE £3,000 raised at the 2013 Last Night of the Proms concert in November was formally donated to Prospect Hospice and Friends of Swindon Young Musicians yesterday.

The concert was presented by Rotary Club of Swindon Old Town on November 16 last year at the Wyvern Theatre, where Swindon Young Musicians and Waterloo Band of the Rifles performed.

The money raised from that evening was finally handed over to its recipients yesterday, with the help of Swindon Council chief executive Gavin Jones and South Swindon MP Robert Buckland.

Large crowds were already gathered at the Platform in Faringdon Road to watch a Music for Youth Concert, which included many of the young performers who went on stage at the Wyvern in the winter.

Bob Barrett, chair of Swindon Young Musicians as well as a member of the Rotary Club of Old Town, said: “We try to raise money to help the young people with buying instruments, which aren’t cheap.

“We want the town to understand how talented these young musicians are, and try to promote that with the support we offer them.”

Swindon Young Musicians offers opportunities for children, young people and adults to join together to make music.

Its origins go back over 50 years, but in that time its purpose has remained the same, namely to bring young people together in a social setting while enjoying music-making.

Students work hard together to improve upon skills learned in instrumental lessons, and benefit from playing a variety of musical styles.

Most groups perform in end of term concerts, with some being involved to play at additional events such as festivals and competitions as well as at community based concerts and activities.

MP Robert Buckland said: “It’s so important we encourage arts participation in Swindon; where better than here at the Platform, which is a hub for such a wealth of arts services?

“Musical instruments are not cheap and this is why financial support is so important. If a child has got a talent it needs to be supported at an early age, and a musical instrument can make so much difference.

“It’s not cheap, which is why I like the idea of this network of support Swindon Young Musicians provides.”

Gavin Jones said: “Why wouldn’t I want to come and see the talent on show here?

“It is so critical to give the youngsters here the opportunity to be as good as they want to be. There is so much musical talent in Swindon and it must be supported through agencies like these.”