Hull Samba group banging drum for Comic Relief
BANGING the drum for Comic Relief – a samba group in Hull is one of dozens that has benefited from funding over the past 25 years.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of Red Nose Day.
The Mail has reported on hundreds of fundraising events across the region since the campaign first began, from a woman sitting in a bath of beans to cycling challenges and head-shaves.
Hull Samba is a group that aims to promote the benefits of playing a musical instrument on people's physical and mental health.
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Hull Samba member Sue Peach, 59, of Orchard Park, was left heartbroken when her husband Colin lost his battle with cancer.
Her son Darren suggested she join his samba group to get out of the house, and she hasn't looked back.
"The cancer had come back with a vengeance, spreading to his lungs and pancreas," Sue said.
"By the end, he was 6ft 1in but weighed four-and-a-half stone. After his death, I became withdrawn.
"I found a group of people who just get hold of you, bring you in and give you a hug. I went back every week."
With a ready circle of friends and newfound confidence, Sue began to feel like she could take on the world again.
She has performed at a variety of festivals and has even enrolled at university to do a bachelor's degree in local history.
In 2012, thanks to the Time To Change anti-discrimination campaign, supported by Comic Relief, 1.5 million people in England said their attitude towards people with mental health problems had improved.
Hull Samba received £1,000 of Comic Relief funding, which has been spent on running costs.
Harriet Jones, the group's secretary, said they also received cash from Hull City Council's Community First scheme.
She said: "We regularly gather feedback from our members and it does help with physical and mental health, from serious physical problems to those suffering depression and loss.
"Comic Relief has really helped us. We are very grateful.
"Hull Samba includes members aged 18 to 80 and anyone would feel welcome.
"They look like a band of musicians but they've just a group who have learnt together."
The Mail has also joined forces with Comic Relief and the Two Ridings Community Foundation to give away £50,000 in Community Cash grants to groups and projects.
Organisations can apply for grants of between £500 and £1,000 and must be based in the Hull and East Riding area.
They must be small groups with an income of less than £100,000 in the past year and be run by local people.
Visit www.trcf.org.uk/rednoseday to apply for a Community Cash grant and do something funny for money for Red Nose Day on March 15. Visit www.rednoseday.com for more information.
Hull Samba is open to everyone at the Afro Caribbean Centre, in Hull's Park Street, every Tuesday from 7pm to 9pm. Visit www.hullsamba.com for more information.