Pianist Nicholas McCarthy donates free tickets to his concert in Cheltenham

Nicholas McCarthy / Yamaha Concert Grand Piano / Royal Festival Hall Paul Marc Mitchell

Nicholas McCarthy / Yamaha Concert Grand Piano / Royal Festival Hall Paul Marc Mitchell - Credit: Archant

One-handed pianist Nicholas McCarthy, is urging people to get involved in Carers Gloucestershire’s fundraising event ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’, on the 5 June. To encourage people to register, he is offering two free sets of tickets to his concert in Cheltenham at the Parabola Arts Centre on Sunday 29 May.

Nicholas McCarthy , who at one point was told he would never have a career, is not your average artist. Born in 1989 without his right hand, he only began to play the piano at the age of 14 after seeing a friend play Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata. He made history in July 2012 by being the only left handed player to graduate from the Royal College of Music since it was founded. Four years later, Nicholas is widely featured through national and international press, regularly giving live performances and media interviews on the BBC, ITV and appeared in a Channel 4 documentary. McCarthy has now signed a record deal with Warner Classics and has just released his first album entitled “Solo” with the label.

This exceptionally talented pianist is Patron of Carer’s Gloucestershire and works hard to support the charity. Nicholas commented “I’m honoured to be donating the tickets and encouraging local people to register for’ Walk a mile in my shoes’ this year. I’m going to be completing the walk myself a week early on the morning of the concert on the 29 May. Carers Gloucestershire really touched my heart with the work that they do in providing a support network for people who find themselves in a caring role. It struck me that anyone of us could find ourselves in that position at any time and it’s comforting to know that Carers Gloucestershire are there to turn to.”

This year, ‘Walk a Mile in my Shoes’ will be the biggest carer awareness event in the South West of England and will be taking place again in Pittville Park, Cheltenham, on 5 June. The event will see people from across the county swapping footwear with their sons, daughters, husbands, friends, neighbours or even a complete stranger to walk a mile around the park and launch National Carers Week. This project helps unpaid family carers, many of whom are financially disadvantaged, to have a well-earned break. These are people who wouldn’t normally get a break from their responsibilities and it enables carers to get a desperately needed day out, creating a wealth of happy memories for the future.

The walk is part of a fun day out with stalls and free family activities to celebrate the contribution of Gloucestershire’s 63,000 unpaid family carers. This has been made possible by sponsors New Beginnings, who provide residential care for adults with learning disabilities, along with grants from the Barnwood Trust and Freemasons. There will be face painting, inflatables and children’s entertainment from the Music Man, Gloucester Salvation Army Band and Circus Show and Workshop. There will be a multitude of craft stalls and hot food , refreshments and cakes will be served in the tea tent.

To be in with a chance to win, you have to do is register to walk before 0 April (if you’ve already registered you’ll be automatically entered!). Registration can be online at www.carersgloucestershire.org.uk or call Carers Gloucestershire on 01452 386283. It costs just £10 for adults to register and £5 for children and includes a free t-shirt and goody bag. Winners will also be able to meet Nicholas and will receive a signed CD.