Leeds music school LS18 Rocks shortlisted for award for heartwarming Christmas campaign

A pioneering Leeds music school has been shortlisted for an award for its contribution to family-friendly arts and culture during the pandemic.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 11:45 am
The festive track Virtual Hugs (There’s No One Quite Like You Grandma) was written by children from the real-life school of rock

Horsforth-based LS18 Rocks is up for a Fantastic for Families Award for its Virtual Hugs campaign.

Virtual Hugs saw children and grandparents working together to produce a song, video and fundraising campaign last Christmas that made headlines around the world – and raised more than £1,000 for charity.

The festive track Virtual Hugs (There’s No One Quite Like You Grandma) was written by children from the real-life school of rock. It touches on how much they had missed seeing their grandparents during the pandemic.

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The project, which topped the West Yorkshire streaming charts, resulted in appearances on BBC Breakfast, Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch and BBC Look North.

It also appeared across numerous national and local newspapers while reports of the song spread as far afield as Slovakia, Japan and even an appearance on Channel 9 in Australia.

Now the Family Arts Campaign has announced LS18 Rocks among the arts activities, initiatives and organisations that have delighted families over the pandemic.

The awards celebrate the wealth of outstanding creative provision for families across the UK.

“Virtual Hugs really did capture a moment in time last Christmas," LS18 Rocks Musical Director, Jonnie Khan, said.

"At a time of huge sadness and worry for so many it was absolutely wonderful to witness the positive impact it had, not just on our musicians and their families, but across our whole local community.

"We have carried this forward and used some of the money raised to support an initiative in Horsforth which is helping isolated older people meet up again and regain their confidence.”

All shortlisted organisations will now have their nominations reviewed by a panel of expert judges from the creative sector, with winners being announced in a virtual ceremony on November 16.

Anna Dever, head of the Family Arts Campaign, added: “After such a challenging year, the Fantastic for Families Awards are a brilliant opportunity to celebrate the creativity, innovation and resilience that the arts and cultural sector has shown during the pandemic.

"The organisations nominated, and all those who applied, are wonderful examples of how creativity and cultural engagement can bring joyful moments of collaboration and connectivity in difficult times.”

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