A group of Cheltenham musicians and performers banded together, raising more than £250 for homelessness charity Emmaus Gloucestershire.

On Friday 31 January, eight musicians and performers headed to Smokey Joe’s on Bennington Street to showcase local talent while raising money to help support people who have experienced homelessness.

The event, which cost £3 to enter, featured acoustic artists Issy Winstanley, Daisy Kane, and Aidan & Issy, as well as the stunning vocals of Grace Eliza and Lucy Taylor, Oscar Hodson’s DJ skills, and a performance from Wilcie.

Event organiser and musician, Issy Winstanley, said:

“I wanted to raise money for Emmaus after discovering how they help homeless people, not just by providing a roof over their heads but helping them to develop new skills through meaningful work so they can get back on their feet.

“Rough sleeping has increased by a massive 165 per cent since 2010. It is devastating, especially during the winter, to see so many people sleeping rough. Helping the most vulnerable in society is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I was absolutely thrilled with the turn out on the night. Thank you to everyone who came along. Together, we raised £287.25.”

People supported by Emmaus Gloucestershire live in a communal building, where each person has their own room. Whilst at Emmaus, they are given the opportunity to help run the Emmaus shops in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Nailsworth and Stroud to learn new skills and regain confidence.

Paul Newman, manager at the Emmaus shop in Cheltenham, attended the event along with some of the people currently living at Emmaus. He said:

“We were delighted to find out about the music night Issy Winstanley had organised in aid of Emmaus and would like to thank everyone for their hard work putting it together. A lot of the people we support are big music fans and musicians themselves so they all really enjoyed the night and some of them shared their experiences of homelessness with the audience.

“The money raised will go towards providing safe accommodation and support for people who need it most. It means a lot when locals go above and beyond to support us in this way.”

To find out more about the work of Emmaus Gloucestershire, please visit here.