A FORDINGBRIDGE band has released its first ever Christmas single to support those in need.

Becoming Branches’ new song Hold On To Love (A Sad Christmas Song) came out on Friday December 10 and is raising funds for the Salvation Army in Fordingbridge.

Band members Jaz Joyner, 25, Rob Aston, 36, and Hannah Mathew, 32, said: “The Salvation Army is a charity close to our hearts and all the proceeds from this single will be going to support the amazing work they do in our community at Christmas."

The song, which was written last year, reflects on spending Christmas time alone and apart from loved ones.

It showcases Becoming Branches’ country-folk style and also features a guest appearance from Hyde Brass Band.

Rob works part time for the charity as a support worker working with youths and families and knows first hand the support ir provides. His fellow band members Jaz, who is a teacher at Emmanuel Middle School in Verwood, and Hannah, a school office worker at Ringwood Waldorf School, have also volunteered to help the charity over the years.

"When we knew we were going to release a Christmas single we thought actually it would be really nice to support the work they do in our community at Christmas," explains Rob.

"We actually wrote it last Christmas around the time when we weren't sure who we could see and what we could do. It was all around not being able to spend Christmas with the ones you love."

The band hasn't got a fundraising targeting in mind but Rob says they have been really "overwhelmed" by the "fantastic" response so far.

Salisbury Journal:

Money raised will help support the Fordingbridge Salvation Army's work at Christmas including its gift appeal.

"They do a lot of work in our community in Fordingbridge and surrounding areas supporting families at Christmas time." adds Rob.

The trio have previously been featured as Record of the Week on BBC Introducing Solent and have recently won the Live Country Sessions Best UK Emerging Artist 2021 award.

On releasing the band's first Christmas single Rob said: "I've always wanted to do a Christmas single but never necessarily had the inspiration. Last Christmas with everything going I thought 'no let's do this'."

The official music video was filmed at the Salvation Army Hall in Fordingbridge.

Mike French, the Corps (Church) Leader at Fordingbridge Salvation Army, said: "It feels amazing that Becoming Branches have recognised the work that we do in the community and believe this deserves supporting is fantastic.

"Having such a popular, up and coming, local band record a Christmas song for us, and record the video at Fordingbridge Salvation Army is exciting. It feels great having others recognise and support the hard work, effort, and commitment we put into the community, it is incredible. We are hugely grateful to and honoured by Becoming Branches for this.

"All the money raised will go into our work with the community, either now in purchasing specific gifts for those who would otherwise go without this Christmas or towards Christmas hampers for those in need, or towards our ongoing work in local schools providing pastoral and welling-being support, our youth work (groups, school sessions advice and guidance and detached) and parenting support, plus ongoing clothing, and food needs for those less fortunate in our community."

The band, who have been together for around five years, added: "If you’re able to, please consider making a donation via the link on our website and socials, thank you.”

Donations can be made online at becomingbranches.com. Hold On To Love is available across all major streaming platforms.


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