A BARNSLEY-born folk singer who transformed a classic nursery rhyme to help raise funds for a children’s hospice has helped get the single all the way across the pond.

Kate Rusby’s ballad version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star caught the ear of Greg Garvan from South Carolina in America, who was so moved by the song and accompanying video he decided to donate £1,000 to Bluebell Wood’s Twinkle Twinkle appeal.

Semi-retired father-of-two Greg volunteers at Hospice of Charleston in his hometown, where he helps provide respite care for families going through the heartbreak of saying goodbye to a loved one.

Knowing all too well the fundraising challenges hospices have faced in the pandemic, Greg said he was ‘fortunate and blessed’ enough to be able to lend a hand.
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“I have never worked with children, so I’m so full of admiration for the work of a children’s hospice, which I honestly didn’t know even existed until I saw Kate Rusby’s song,” said Greg, 65.

“It takes someone pretty special to have the strength to do that kind of work and I think I’d find it very tough.”

Bluebell Wood’s Twinkle Twinkle appeal gives people the chance to celebrate loved ones near or far by dedicating a star in their name, all while helping to raise much-needed funds for the charity.

It was Kate Rusby’s song for the appeal that captured Greg’s imagination.

“You really have Kate to thank for this. If it wasn’t for her song I would never have heard of Bluebell Wood,” he added.

“There are also a couple of personal reasons that motivated us to make the donation. Some good friends of ours recently lost their 18-month-old grandson Christopher, so the donation is in memory of him.”

Rachael Dawes, individual giving manager at Bluebell Wood, said: “It’s not often we get donations from overseas so we were over the moon to discover Greg was supporting us all the way from America.

“It’s such a wonderfully thoughtful and generous gesture and we really can’t thank Greg and his family enough for their kindness. The Hospice of Charleston are very lucky to have his support and we hope he’ll be able to get back to volunteering very soon.

“We’d also like to say a big thank you to Kate Rusby too - without her support we’d never have had the pleasure of making such a kind-hearted new friend.”