Buskers strike a chord to raise funds


If you're handy with an instrument, busking can be a good way to make pocket money.

But for seven students from St Michael's Catholic Parish Primary School at Thirroul, it proved a great way to raise funds, not for themselves, but for people in need. 

Ava Silvestri and Olivia Beecroft, both aged 10, wanted to help out St Vinnies and when their friends joined in, the busking group was formed.

At the school gate before class on Friday, the year 4 students played a variety of Christmas songs as parents and students entered the school.

They wore Santa hats and decorated their instruments with tinsel to create the mood.

Trumpet player Olivia said she was inspired by her 18-year-old sister who went on a volunteer trip to Papua New Guinea.

"They were meeting all these people that were really poor and disabled; they were blind and couldn't hear," she said.

"She gave them gifts they would need."

Ava said she was a bit nervous before her flute solo performance of O Come All ye Faithful, but she really wanted to help the poor.

"They need it more than we do, because we've got enough," she said.

Lily Pakula, 10, said she wanted to do something different in addition to buying presents for the needy with her mum every year.

"I asked if I could join in," she said.

"I played the trombone."

Grace Wynn, 10, Bella Oliveira, 9, Amelia Kaag, 10, and Claire Steel, 8, also performed with the group.

Principal Danny Sykes said the idea to help the needy came from the girls and he decided to use their musical talents as they were in the school band.

"I think for the girls to raise $150 is tremendous, plus the generosity of donating from their own pocket money and donating toys themselves is very praiseworthy indeed," he said.

The youngsters' efforts have earned them a place in the Illawarra Mercury's new story series titled Little People, Big Ideas.

If you know a young person or a group of young people who are worthy of a story, tell us about them.

Submissions to cos@illawarramercury.com.au.

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