The idea for Concerts for Carers came in April 2020, just as the Covid-19 pandemic was taking hold. We could see the immense pressures being put on the NHS and care community and wanted to find a way to say thank you. But we wanted to find a way to say it big and say it forever.
So we looked to the experience of the Trustees for inspiration, as people who know the live event market in the UK extremely well. We wanted to find something that could bring the whole UK live music industry together - and the way we thought to do this was to appeal to both commercial logic and social responsibility. By offering up tickets at nil cost, venues still get to increase their occupancy but then by having them directed at NHS workers and carers, they also get to make a really positive social contribution.
By making this a registered charity, independent of any venue in particular, CfC could then be the way that all venues across the UK collectively give thanks and ongoing support to NHS workers and paid carers.
But we also wanted to have greater impact then solely distributing free tickets. Our research showed that there were strong, measurable benefits from attending live events with friends and family – boosting wellbeing and combating loneliness. And so CfC focuses specifically on promoting the mental health and wellbeing of NHS workers and paid carers. CfC is doing this through making tickets available at nil cost but it will also be making grants available to charities with the same objectives promoting mental health and wellbeing.
We are very excited to have got the support of O2 and our other partners and to be working with venues across the UK on this great initiative. We are now focused on building this right and making it sustainable so that it creates a permanent legacy for NHS workers and paid carers.
Our funding model is based in part on contributions from key partners - but we are also hoping that the public donates to help us deliver on this great initiative. We have a JustGiving page and given that there are nearly 3 million NHS workers and paid carers in the UK we would hope that even a small amount from a large number of people really helps us on our way.