As the reality of the Covid-19 crisis sunk in, we wanted to do something to help.
We decided to do a book.
We figured that other music fans would buy a limited-edition book featuring people from our favourite bands.
But where should the book’s profits go? Where would it help most?
We discussed a lot of ideas; we generally support smaller do-it-yourself initiatives.
This time, the scale of the crisis seemed to call for a larger charity that could cope with a major undertaking.
We decided to support the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal. It’s long term too, so it will be there to support people when we emerge from this crisis.
Even though we’re both Irish, a lot of the best records in our collections come from places where the NHS operates, and the NHS seems to be one of the best things about those places.
When we started to ask people to write a piece for the book and mentioned that it would raise funds for the NHS, lots of them told us that they had sons and daughters, partners and parents who worked for the NHS. Many of them knew people who were being cared for by NHS staff. So it seemed to make sense.
Here’s a piece from the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal site:
The funds have been used to meet the immediate and urgent needs of staff, volunteers and patients as well as helping tackle the longer term effects on health and wellbeing – providing nutritious food and drink, somewhere comfortable to take a break during long shifts, supplying electronic-tablets so patients, staff and volunteers can stay in contact with friends and family, “wobble” rooms and specialised psychological support for staff struggling with stress, trauma and separation from their loved ones as they battled the virus.
Some communities have been hit harder than others, and we particularly like that the charity is mindful of the tragic effect on the BAME communities.
One of the best things about this book, is that it is driven by a do-it-yourself impulse. We had the idea, people we knew helped us, and complete strangers helped us. Busy people with enough to be doing made time to help the charity. It’s not as if we’re super-organised, super-connected people, so the message is clear. If we can do something like this, you probably can too.
We hope that all of you, and the people you care about, come through all of this as well as you can. Mind yourselves as best you can
Niall McGuirk and Michael Murphy. October 2020