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Christmas concert a success for conservation

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

Broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, actor Brian Blessed and singer-songwriter Emma Stevens joined children from local schools at a special community Christmas Concert in Guildford raising more than £4,000 for David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF).

The event, held at the beautiful St Nicolas church in Guildford, gathered supporters, the local community and members of the Shepherd family together to celebrate the festive season and support wildlife across Africa and Asia.

Emma’s stunning voice was joined by Ardingly Prep Chamber Choir and Guildford County School Chamber Choir as they performed a variety of traditional and original festive songs.

Special readings from Sir Michael Parkinson and Brian Blessed entertained the audience and truly brought feelings of festive cheer; from Sir Michael’s eloquent reading of Sir John Betjeman’s ‘Christmas’, to Brian’s enthusiastic performance of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’.

The concert was followed by mince pies kindly donated by Merrow Savouries, along with a glass of mulled wine and an exclusive exhibition of Shepherd family artwork, including originals by David, his daughter Mandy and his granddaughter Emily Lamb.

Susie Baxter, Head of Fundraising at DSWF, said: “This year, we are celebrating 35 years since our beloved Founder, David Shepherd, set up the Foundation. That’s 35 years of protecting endangered species across Africa and Asia and 35 years of working tirelessly to turn the tide on extinction before it’s too late.

“We couldn’t do what we do without you – our family of supporters who have chosen to stand with us and ensure that the precious animals that roam our planet continue to thrive and live free in their natural habitat.

“As we head into the Christmas period and think of family, food, presents and warm fires, we would like to dedicate tonight to our Wildlife Rangers – the brave men and women who stand on the front line of conservation – who sacrifice their own Christmas and risk their lives in harsh and unforgiving environments to ensure that our precious wildlife has a future.”

A big thanks to all who helped organise the event, who performed and those who came to support us.

Funds raised from the concert will help DSWF continue our mission to fight wildlife crime, protect endangered species and engage with communities across Africa and Asia. We are working to help save threatened animals such as elephants, tigers, rhinos and pangolins.

To find out more about our work click here.

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