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Suggs & Laura White host free concert to launch ‘Big Christmas Sing’

November 8 2011 - On 9 November, Madness frontman Suggs and 2008 X Factor finalist Laura White will launch Christian Aid’s Big Christmas Sing with a free concert at Old Spitalfields Market. Suggs will host the event and perform his Christmas hit ‘Sleigh Bells’. The concert will run from 5.30 – 7pm.

Turning on the market’s Christmas lights, Suggs and Laura will be joined by over 100 local school children who will perform three festive favourites. Laura will make a guest appearance on their final song, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, as well as performing three songs as a solo performer.

The line up also includes Tamora String Quartet, an all-female string ensemble that has played all around the world and even to the Royal Family. Soul singer Juliyaa, who this week won a Ghana UK-Based Achievement Award for Best New Act, will demonstrate why she’s one of London’s best new talents, before gospel choir Singology belt out some Christmas classics.

The concert will kick off this year’s Big Christmas Sing, a nationwide fundraiser that invites everyone who loves a good sing-a-long to Christmas hits, past and present, to raise money for Christian Aid. Last year 500 events took place across the country - from Truro in Cornwall to the Isle of Skye - raising over £80,000 for people living in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Suggs said: 'The Big Christmas Sing is a great way to get into the festive spirit and have fun while raising money for a good cause. There’s nothing like the Christmas classics that everyone knows and loves, so follow in our footsteps and organise an event of your own or find one taking place near you. If you rock the mike, the donations will roll in!’

Anyone can hold a Big Christmas Sing between 9-11 December and people all over the UK are encouraged to invite friends and family to their own event at home, school, work or in a local pub or community hall. Everyone who registers at www.christianaid.org.uk/bigsing will receive a free fundraising pack containing guidelines, tips on how to hold a Big Christmas Sing, publicity posters and access to downloadable song sheets.

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If you would like further information please contact Kathleen Prior on 020 7523 2318/ kprior@christian-aid.org or Melanie Marks on 020 7523 2421/ mmarks@christian-aid.org. 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950  

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk

6. Suggs will be touring London with his One Man Show at Christmas, for more information please visit http://www.madness-central.com/