My View, Mel Hewitt: Charity song will be helping to feed town

Dan Morris, Geoff Hewitt and Max Bowker are raising money with a charity song for a Doncaster foodbank
Dan Morris, Geoff Hewitt and Max Bowker are raising money with a charity song for a Doncaster foodbank

A few years ago I was asked as part of my PR job if I would appear as an extra in a TV advert.

Happily this involved pretending to be a customer in the café of a visitor attraction. There was no fee, but as filming progressed copious amounts of shortbread would be consumed take after take.

Washed down with cups of coffee this was – with my sweet tooth – ample payment – and it was a lot of fun.

When you don’t have to worry about all the technical and logistical headaches of filming you can sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Without editing time, it took days to complete all the shots needed for what became a 30-second commercial.

Over the last few weeks I have been privileged to play a very small part in and watch the creation of a film for a charity single.

‘Yule Love This Christmas’ – an original song – is released today and supports the work of the Doncaster Foodbank (registered charity no: 511967), a project seeded by the Trussell Trust.

Alongside the voices of Max Bowker and Dan Morris, sixth-formers at The Hayfield School, the lush vintage sound of this swing-style- inspired single also features a host of talented musicians from across the UK who have given their services for free.

Recording artist Max performed on the BBC’s Frank Sinatra: Our Way and Dan is a leading actor with the National Youth Theatre.

The song captures the essence of all those Christmas classics that are as much a part of the festive season as cranberry sauce and carol singers. So there’s a bit of Bing, a smidgen of Sinatra and more than a nosegay of nostalgia – in short hopefully something for everyone.

Finding the perfect backdrops was, due to the generosity and support of some of our local businesses, a joy. The Earl of Doncaster Hotel and St Catherine’s House at Woodfield Park were used for some interior shots and they look fabulous. Many thanks to both venues. Thanks also to those who contributed with everything from studio space to a full Christmas dinner – complete with crackers.

My son Geoff, who wrote the song and developed the project, was moved to raise money for the food bank that helps thousands of people in our town every year.

Vitally important all year round, the Doncaster foodbank brings so much in so many ways to so many – and somehow this seems to matter even more at Christmas.

Later today from 6pm at Waterstones in the Frenchgate, Doncaster Max and Dan will be singing live and the new single will be part of their set.

I don’t appear in the film, but if you look closely at the beginning my glass decanter gets a starring role! For more details about how to download or buy the single visit Bowker Morris Facebook page