Wiltshire Publications

Hospital singer fundraising for Indian trek

Frankie Simpkins performing for patients at the RUH in Bath

Frankie Simpkins singing for patients at the RUH in Bath

A WESTBURYwoman who sings to inpatients at the Bath Royal United Hospitalis raising sponsorship money for her 42-mile trek through the Himalayas later this year.

Musician in Residence Frankie Simpkins will be joining the Bath hospital’s Forever Friends Appeal’s Indian trek in October this year.

She is aiming to raise £3,000 to contribute to the RUH Cancer Centre fund.

Frankie said, “As soon as I saw the poster in the hospital for the trek I knew straight away that this was a fundraising adventure I wanted to take on for a few reasons. A number of people in my family have had and are fighting cancer, and although not all of them are being treated at the RUH, I really want to give something back to my local area.

“I also love to challenge myself, and trekking India gives me two challenges – training to get fit and fundraising!”

Frankie will be hitting the streets of Bath with her ukelele to busk in the coming months, to help raise money for the trip which departs in October this year,

Frankie will be travelling to a country home to over a billion people, to join the India Dalai Lama challenge in association with Global Adventure Challenges. She will join a group of volunteers hiking 67km over five days through North India, at the heart of the world’s highest mountain range.

They will be exploring the Kingdom of Gaddi (a semi-nomadic race who wander the high passes with their cattle), passing through traditional Hindu settlements, Buddhist monasteries, pine forests and even a glacier with spectacular views of the Himalayan mountains.

Frankie’s role at the RUH is part of a music programme  run by Art at the Heart. Art at the Heart supports the hospital with an arts programme that aims to stimulate healing and well-being, and aims to create an uplifting environment for all who stay.

Frankie said, “I love to sing and am so lucky to have a job where I get to sing to people every day. I choose my songs to complement the ward environment, so on a day where things seem quite frantic or fraught I might sing calmer quieter songs to promote a calm atmosphere, or if the patients seem a bit sad or anxious I will sing happy songs to cheer them up.

“Many patients sing along with me which is amazing, but I don’t expect them to, likewise I don’t force my music on people and always give them a choice – if I were poorly I wouldn’t necessarily want someone singing at my bed all the time!

“On the older people’s unit I play well-known oldies, and I’ve recently started performing on the children’s ward where I tend to sing Disney, more specifically ‘Frozen’ songs! During my time on the children’s ward I have been working with young oncology patients, which has really fuelled my desire to raise funds for the Cancer Centre, which would have a hugely positive impact on the lives of these little patients.”

You can help Frankie’s fundraising effort by donating at www.justgiving.com/Frankie-Simpkins.

If you would like to join Frankie and travel to Northern India to raise funds for the Royal United Hospital, get in touch with Laura Pearce on 01225 821535 / laura pearce1@nhs.net for more information. 

Places for the trek will be closing on Thursday 30th April so don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!