Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Christmas fundraiser in memory of Eilidh hits the right notes

Andy Hopkinson | 17th December 2020

Now, here’s a brilliant idea being brought to fruition with skill and determination

Christmas fundraiser hitting the right notes for Meningitis Now in memory of Eilidh

Young musician Guy Bathgate, from Kinross in Scotland, is putting together an album of covers of Christmas songs for those starved of live music this year, with the proceeds coming to support our ongoing lifesaving and life-changing work.

Guy was deeply moved by the death of 8-year-old Eilidh from meningitis last year. Eilidh became unwell on holiday and died in hospital in France.

Living in the same community as her family and knowing the family personally, as a result of teaching Eilidh’s older sister Zoe drumming for a number of years, Guy decided he wanted to raise money to fight back against the disease.

And so, the project Apart Together at Christmas was born.

Guy explains, “About a month ago I made the decision to start an extremely ambitious collaborative project to work with various musicians and performers I know to create and self-produce an album of non-original Christmas and festive music in the hope of raising money for charity. 

Making a difference

“The charity that I decided I wanted to raise money for means a lot both to me and to my community, Meningitis Now. Meningitis Now is a charity with the aim of funding vital research and support to those bereaved or negatively impacted by this awful disease. With your help, I want to be a part of making a difference and raising some of the money that the charity needs to keep on doing its amazing work. 

“For the next 12 days, I will be releasing a fully recorded, mixed and edited video of a cover Christmas song, performed by myself and a whole host of wonderful people who have worked tirelessly with me over the past month. 

“We hope that you can enjoy these videos no matter who you are and no matter whether you can give or not, but I can only implore you to consider making a donation on our JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aparttogetheratchristmas.

“At the end of the twelve days the album will be released on Bandcamp and available to buy for £6.

Album to keep forever

“All of the money raised this way will also go to Meningitis Now and you will get the album to download and keep forever! 

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved with this project in any way and I can’t wait to hear feedback on how everyone is enjoying our small attempt to spread some happiness and do our bit this Christmas. Thank you all and Merry Christmas!” 

The first song Guy has recorded is a cover of the wonderful Christmas song ‘Shake Up Christmas’ by Train, who you may know from this song as well as other hits like 'Hey Soul Sister' and 'Drops of Jupiter'. 

Guy added: “I had help from the ever-wonderful local rock band Trading Glances. We hope you enjoy and as always like, comment and share to get the word out there!”

Other songs include...

The first video features Sam Eastop and Guy Bathgate on vocals, Nathaniel Haas and Josh Robinson on guitars, Nathaniel Haas and Guy Bathgate on keyboards, Adam Shaw on bass and Ciaran Young on drums. Nathaniel Haas did the mixing and Guy did the video production. The other videos will all have different arrays of people.

Other songs you can look forward to over the coming days and on the album include Hallelujah, Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Merry Christmas Everyone, Blue Christmas and Have Yourselves a Merry Little Christmas.

Meningitis Now Fundraising Officer Jo Wilson said, “We’re really grateful to Guy and everyone who’s taking part in these recordings for their support. He's worked so hard on this project.

“We rely on the energy, enthusiasm and initiative of our supporters to raise the funds we need each and every day to continue our vital research, awareness and support work. 

“Support like this make a real difference to those who are at risk from meningitis and those whose lives have already been changed forever because of it.” 

Watch the recordings on YouTube and, if you can, please donate through JustGiving, or via the Forever Fund page for Eilidh.