Sidmouth saxophonist takes up 2.6 Challenge in aid of mental health project

Christine Hardy as she appeared in the first of her YouTube videos

Christine Hardy as she appeared in the first of her YouTube videos - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth woman is undertaking a ‘musical marathon’ to raise money for a project helping young people experiencing mental health issues.

Saxophonist Christine Hardy Picture: Tony Velterop

Saxophonist Christine Hardy Picture: Tony Velterop - Credit: Archant

Christine Hardy is taking part in the 2.6 Challenge, set up in response to the postponement of the London Marathon.

A marathon is 26.2 miles, so people are instead being challenged to take part in another activity involving the number 26 and get sponsored for a good cause.

Mrs Hardy is playing 26 songs on her saxophone over the course of this week, raising money for Sid Valley HELP’s Wellbeing and Health Action Team (WHAT).

She said: “As a retired social worker and someone who has experienced panic attacks and depression myself, I am very aware of the impact this can have.

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“One in ten young people suffer from a mental health problem which can seriously affect their ability to cope with day to day life and may have a profound effect on their future in terms of career and relationships.

“Services for young people needing support are terribly overstretched and the waiting time in the south west can be up to 18 months. I know from my own experience that this is simply not acceptable.

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“The WHAT project is working across the community in local primary schools and Sidmouth College and is aware that there will be many more young people needing help when the lockdown is lifted, which is why I am keen to raise money for them.

“I will be posting a snippet of the daily songs on YouTube each night as proof of my playing.”

Mrs Hardy began learning the saxophone five years ago and is a member of the Saxminster band, who usually perform all around East Devon and Dorset.

She began her challenge on Sunday (April 26), with a performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, in recognition of the rainbows being displayed in support of the NHS.

The other songs she will play include Summertime, Georgia, Bridge Over Troubled Water, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Pink Panther, Concerto de Aranjuez, Mack the Knife, Blue Moon, Moondance, Fly Me to the Moon and Lean on Me.

She has been performing in the street during the Thursday night applause for the NHS.

Donations can be made via the Sid Valley HELP website and should be marked 2.6.

The link to Christine’s first YouTube clip is here or go to YouTube and search for 2.6 Challenge for Sid Valley What project.

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