Being there for one another in these difficult times is the focus of a new music video starring the sweet sounds of Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) staff.
Sixteen staff perform and many more feature in a cover of Joe Cocker’s version of ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ which aims to raise cash for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity and Shelter.
The single is released this week to provide some light-hearted relief as we deal with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be viewed below:
The idea originated from Jason Carlyon, Senior Engagement Lead (Community) for YAS, who asked in a staff Facebook group if anyone was interested in contributing to a single following the success of a Foo Fighters cover released by our colleagues at North West Ambulance Service.
Producer and bass guitarist Andy Owen, Wakefield-based Head of Medical Devices Management, Ambulance Vehicle Preparation and Ancillary Services for YAS, and also member of Huddersfield-based five-piece band Zang, offered to pull the project together.
It turns out that we have a lot of hidden musical talents at YAS! We decided to go for a cover of Joe Cocker’s version of ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ by The Beatles as we felt it spoke volumes about how staff and volunteers have pulled together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are all really proud of the end result. Hopefully it will provide some light-hearted respite to everyone and reinforce the importance of being there for one another at a time when life is extremely challenging, as well as raising money for two great causes.
The song features lead vocals from Leeds-based Emergency Care Assistants Paul Walsh and Georgia Dennis and Student Paramedic Gabby Kirby with Andrew Conner, Hull-based Mobile Vehicle Cleaner, on guitar.
We wanted to use emotive power of music to derive a sense of togetherness and comradery during a time of personal and collective difficulty, whilst conveying energy and humour.
Given the current regional, national and global circumstances surrounding the pandemic I felt it was vital to firstly be able to raise funds for the YAS Charity to help support staff affected by the current environment and to continue to work towards bringing an end to homelessness.
Additional singers included Claire Atkinson (Finance Systems and Processes Manager – Wakefield HQ), Claire Lindsay (Sector Commander – Airedale, Bradford and Leeds), Wendy Peel (Emergency Medical Dispatcher – Wakefield), Beckie Aconley (Paramedic – Malton), Nicky Moore (Emergency Medical Dispatcher – York), Jade Hizzett-Orme (Quality and Risk Administrator – Wakefield HQ), Craig Barley (Clinical Supervisor – York), Perri Barley (Emergency Medical Dispatcher – York) and Katie Halmshaw (Patient Transport Service – Barnsley).
Also involved were non-YAS staff Jimmy Hey (keyboard) and James Willoughby (drums), who belong to bands Andy Owen is involved with in the Halifax and Huddersfield areas.
The YAS Charity supports the work of YAS by providing life-saving first aid training and defibrillators to communities. It is also supporting projects for our staff and volunteers impacted by COVID-19.
Danielle Norman, YAS Charity Manager, said:
Our YAS colleagues should be really proud of their efforts as a team to bring some joy into these very challenging times. We are delighted that they have chosen to raise the profile of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Charity through their song.
We are currently funding projects to support our colleagues and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our work is especially focusing on supporting colleagues’ health and wellbeing and With a Little Help from our Friends we hope that we can do even more.