By Lianne Kolirin
Unicef has been able to distribute more than 10,000 Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries around the world, thanks to the efforts of choristers at Truro Cathedral.
The youngsters originally set out to raise £5,000 with their song lamenting the effect of climate change on the planet, performed to world leaders who met in Cornwall last month for the G7 summit.
The girls and boys, aged between eight and 18, published their rendition of Gee Seven — written by Sir Tim Rice and Peter Hobbs — on Spotify and YouTube in May.
In an expansive film with polar bears, planets, stars, sea and Cornish mines, the robed choir can be seen standing in the cathedral singing words pointing to the magical prime number seven, whose presence runs through nature and science. It ends with a challenge: “Let nation speak to nation / Don’t let the others down / Don’t forget the not so fortunate / Or we’ll run you out of town.”
The song was part of the Sing2G7 project which organisers described as “an apolitical international engagement programme with a vision to enable children to raise their voices in song and be heard by world leaders”.
Their fundraising target was £5,000 so that Unicef could distribute more than 10,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses in poorer countries — but exceeded their target by almost 70 per cent.
A “mega Zoom” to coincide with last month’s summit saw 1,400 children from across 14 time zones participate in the song. All royalties from the single were given to VaccinAid and the Sing2G7 VaccinAid Crowd Funder was strongly supported.
More than 27,000 children in 31 countries, including Australia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Canada, signed up to sing the song about saving the planet. The song was sung in English but children in the various G7 countries were provided with literal translations. More than 300 British schools took part as well as countless churches and over 20 cathedrals in the UK and abroad.
Jacob, 13, head chorister at Truro Cathedral, said: “I can’t quite believe that by singing a song we have enabled 10,000 people to be vaccinated. It’s amazing. Thank you so much to everyone who made a donation.”
The Dean of Truro, Roger Bush, said he was “very proud” of the choristers and added: “This is a very practical way of loving our neighbour and I’d like to thank everyone who supported the choristers in doing just that.’
Esmé Page, co-founder of Sing2G7, said: “‘The choristers have worked so hard this year in really difficult circumstances, bringing much needed joy to children in Cornwall and around the world. They’ve been great ambassadors for Cornwall too and Cornwall can be so proud of what they’ve achieved in both the Sing2G7 project and the VaccinAid appeal.
“They’ve taken what Greta Thunberg said, ‘No one is too small to make a difference’ to heart and used their musical skills to do just that!”