All-singing karaoke duo host fundraising Facebook Live shows for funeral costs after ‘devastating’ death of Portsmouth father

TWO singing stars are hosting nightly karaoke sessions to raise funds for the funeral of a Portsmouth man who tragically passed away last month.

Saturday, 8th January 2022, 4:55 am

David Doyle died unexpectedly on December 9, only a few days after his 50th birthday.

His family - including mother Dorothy Sawyer, brother Adam Sawyer, and son Kieran Doyle - say that David’s passing has been ‘simply devastating’.

Adam said: ‘There are no words to capture the degree of significant suffering and grief this has had on our family, exacerbated by the dependency his son had on him which we now willingly and honorably undertake as we attempt to stabilise the resulting chaos whilst grieving ourselves.’

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Kieran, 27, who has autism and lived at home with his dad, has always loved music and singing, performing regularly in events at his special needs school and in church activities.

Adam said: ‘Kieran has sung in varying capacities alongside his dad who always encouraged it.

‘Sadly, he has retreated inside himself somewhat.’

From left: Dorothy, Ben, and Kieran on New Years Eve

Family friend Ben Robinson, concerned for Kieran, began hosting karaoke sessions for the pair to do together live on Facebook every evening.

Ben, who has been friends with the family for several years, said: ‘We’ve been doing it every night for the last couple of weeks.’

An electrician from West Leigh, Ben says he ‘loves singing’ and added: ‘My main priority is therapy for Kieran, it’s hard to get a normal conversation from him but when he sings, he expresses himself.

‘He seems to come out of himself when he’s singing.’

David Doyle with his son Kieran

The pair sing rock, pop, and dance tunes - as well as any other requests.

Adam said: ‘Ben knows our family through church activities - he knew David and has an interest in music himself.

‘Whilst we have been grieving, Ben has provided support and came up with the suggestion to hold some Facebook live streams of Kieran and him singing to attempt to encourage Kieran ‘out of his shell’ whilst raising awareness of the situation.’

Now, the karaoke sessions have become a way of raising crucial funds for the family - and have raised more than £1,000 towards funeral costs.

Family friend Eric Cookson set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the estimated £8,000 needed for the arrangements.

Adam said: ‘Any financial help towards funeral costs would help alleviate the immediate burden we face, secondly, if it exceeded estimated costs of the funeral, it would be invested into any housing related costs, finally, if by the good graces of societal charity, a small period of respite for me, mum and Kieran would be mindfully considered.’

Ben added: ‘The pastor at City Life Church is Daniel Harman, and we’re hoping to have the funeral service there because his mum and dad, Bill and Susan Harman, are good friends of Dorothy and Kieran - they’ve helped with his upbringing.’

To donate, visit gofund.me/364f08d6.

Adam said: ‘Everyone who has donated to date and anyone who does in the future, from the depths of our family’s heart, thank you.

‘I am grateful for friends of the family who have supported us through all sorts of means, from flowers, kind messages to cooking food, we are eternally grateful and would never be able to convey how meaningful it has been on us.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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