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College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London students’ music show brings festive cheer and presents to disadvantaged children

Big-hearted students put on a music concert to raise funds and donated presents to bring some festive cheer to disadvantaged children this Christmas.

Students at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) organised the show to support The TOY Project and encouraged staff and students to donate toys.

The TOY Project recycles unwanted toys for children in the UK, India, Africa and the Caribbean, and also runs Lego, art and storytelling workshops.

The Islington-based charity was co-founded by Angela Malloch, the wife of former Neighbours star and 1980s pop icon Jason Donovan who is the charity’s patron.

Most of the songs were performed by students completing Music Performance and Production Diplomas at Level 1 and Level 2 at the college’s Tottenham Centre.

Silvia Bortolotti, 25, opened the concert with a cover of Amy Winehouse’s hit Valerie.

Lheyla Esono Engo, 18, and Emil Vasilev, 20, sang a duet of James Smith’s Tell Me That You Love Me, and Sarah Delobette, 19, performed Jess Glynne’s cover of seasonal soul classic This Christmas.

There was also a DJ set by Ramon Pazos, 47, a poem read by Hairdressing student Blessing Anyaegbunam, 28, and a performance by guest singer Maalik Robinson.

There were also performances by Isabel Palma Gomes, 17, and Cathleen Farrell, 38, which included the Christmas carol O Holy Night.

Cathleen said: “Children all around the world are directly affected by social and economic issues and circumstances that bring about poverty. Sadly, many experience a Christmas each year without the gifts and toys that bring us all joy in the festive season.

“We hope that by putting on this concert and making donations to The TOY Project many of them will have a happier Christmas.”

The concert’s finale featured all the singers performing Puerto Rican singer José Feliciano’s 1970 festive hit Feliz Navidad.

The TOY Project helps children in schools, nurseries, hospitals and hospices, those in care or with complex needs, migrants and refugees as well as homeless and other underprivileged families.

Jane Garfield, who founded the charity with Angela in 2013, said: “Thank you to everyone who took part in this fabulous concert raising funds and donating toys to those most in need this Christmas.

“After such difficult times more families than ever are struggling to provide for their children, and being able to give toys to the children lifts the worry and stress over the festive period. 

“We are so grateful to have been part of your celebration of music and wish everyone a very merry Christmas.”

Sharon Wallace, Curriculum Manager for Creative Media and Music, said: “It was wonderful seeing and hearing our talented students perform for such a good cause to make Christmas that extra bit special for so many children.”

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