Gig on the roof by Purbrook singer raises more than £2,500 for PPE to help NHS staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital

MUSIC and laughter filled the streets of Purbrook as an entertainer took to his roof to delight neighbours and raise much-needed funds for the NHS.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 3:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 4:52 pm

A few hours of performing to his street led to singer Mark Harris raising more than £2,500, which has already started to do good in the community.

He has managed to purchase 4,000 face shields which are currently in production by Mark Peter Featherstone-Williams of Portsmouth and his team, and more than £600 worth of hand creams delivered to staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

The idea came after Mark set up ‘Entertain - it’s what we do best!’ on Facebook to cheer people up in lockdown, with more than 2,500 members joining in with performing live gigs and comedy online.

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Mark Harris from Purbrook held a gig up on his roof to raise funds for vital PPE for staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital

Mark, 41, said: ‘I can’t go and save anyone’s life but what I can do is maybe contribute towards those people doing that.

‘I decided to do a gig of my own, but it couldn’t be a normal gig, it had to be different!

‘Strangely enough, while brushing my teeth one morning I looked out of the bathroom window and there I saw the perfect stage, the roof of my house.’

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Mark Harris from Purbrook held a gig up on his roof to raise funds for vital PPE for staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital

The singer and website designer, who has taken on a role as an Asda delivery driver, was so surprised at the amount of support his gig received, with 300 people in the street enjoying it and the live stream reaching as far as Brazil, Australia and the USA.

‘On the day of the gig the whole street was out in force, social distancing was absolutely perfect,’ Mark said.

‘We even had a visit from the police who, upon request during the gig, put their blues and twos on.

‘I knew people would come out of their house but I wasn’t aware that the whole street would come out. I’ve seen people I never knew existed in my own street.’

Mark Harris from Purbrook held a gig up on his roof to raise funds for vital PPE for staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital

His next charity gig is expected to go ahead on VE Day with the help of Jay Ricketts from JLR Services who will drive Mark around on the back of a lorry to entertain another street to raise funds for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

To donate to Mark’s latest fundraiser, visit facebook.com/donate/2974728749261229.

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