From Piers to Peers...

Well, actually not peers, as that would imply the House of Lords. But today we were very lucky to have the opportunity to play our cellos in the House of Commons for a couple of hours.

Not in the chamber itself, of course, but in the Terrace Pavilion - a lovely room below the chamber that has a terrace overlooking the Thames (see picture). The occasion was an afternoon tea, hosted by Geoffrey Cox MP, in aid of one of our charities of the year - CHICKS. We had raised over £4300 for them as part of this year's Pier Pressure tour, and they invited us to play for the event and also present them with a cheque.

CHICKS is an incredible charity - with three retreat houses in Cornwall, Devon and Derbyshire, they provide free respite breaks for children from various disadvantaged backgrounds. These include children who have suffered abuse/neglect, children in extreme poverty, and young carers. The one thing they have in common is that they would not otherwise get a holiday. The week they spend at CHICKS offers the chance to try all sorts of activities that they would not get the chance to normally - indeed, many believe they couldn't do at all (e.g. rock climbing, horse riding, surfing), but with gentle encouragement many overcome their doubts and build confidence as a result. We have seen ourselves the great work that CHICKS do, and are delighted and proud to support them.

Many thanks to all at CHICKS for giving us this opportunity to play at one of the most iconic buildings in the country, to Geoffrey Cox MP for hosting it (and lots of other interesting people for attending), and to the House of Commons staff who were very helpful (including the security staff who had the interesting job of putting three cellos through an airport-style security scanner!). But most of all thanks to every one of you who sponsored us (whether for CHICKS or Alzheimer's Society), which really has made a difference. We know that several extra disadvantaged children will be able to have a life-changing holiday thanks to your generosity!