Musical mission to a war-torn land features in new documentary

Quinn Boylan with children in Ukraine

Picture: Philip Bradshaw
Quinn Boylan with children in Ukraine Picture: Philip Bradshaw
James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

  • Two ukulele-lovers make a documentary about their trip to Ukraine
  • They visited orphanages to donate much-needed supplies, as well as musical instruments
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THEY brightened the lives of orphans in war-torn Ukraine with the power of music.

And now they’ve worked with a team of volunteers to produce a documentary about their big-hearted adventure.

Quinn Boylan, of Waterlooville, and Mark Griffiths, 27, of Southsea, visited Ukraine last year to deliver medication, shoes, school supplies, sports gear and 100 ukuleles.

Quinn, 25, said they visited four children’s homes in the Cherkassy region over two weeks – a hectic time, especially since the country was stricken by civil war.

But he said the happiness they gave to the youngsters made any risk worthwhile.

He said: ‘They were all super-excited to give the instrument a go and some of them picked it up very quickly and had a real knack for the instrument.

‘Despite the language barrier, it was interesting how easy it was to give basic lessons and get them excited about playing music.’

The trip took place after they had raised more than £3,600 from individual donors and sponsors D’Addario Ltd UK, Alfred Music and Octopus Ukulele.

Quinn said: ‘It was stressful at times – not to mention this was all during the height of the Ukrainian crisis.

‘We got to know the culture and community, visited several music schools, and even organised a big ukulele play-along jam at a cafe for local youth.’

We hope to encourage people to volunteer more - especially when the volunteering is based on imparting skills

Quinn Boylan

Quinn said the documentary showed their experiences, and aimed to inspire others to help disadvantaged children.

He said: ‘We hope to encourage people to volunteer more – especially when the volunteering is based on imparting skills.

‘We would love to create a global network matching skilled volunteers with children’s homes and beyond.

‘Everybody has something they could give – coders teaching computer skills, chefs giving cooking/nutrition lessons and so on.’

Quinn said he hoped to make another trip to Ukraine in the future, and his charity, Ukuleles for Ukraine, already had more than 100 instruments to donate.

He said: ‘There are so many awesome kids out there and we want to continue to help out. Hopefully our mini-documentary will get more people out there volunteering, or donating to support them.

‘Our next goal is to supply two of the children’s homes we visited with computer labs to provide educational skills for the 21st century.’

The documentary can be viewed online at youtube.com/watch?v=9QR4N7XJRIU.