Best Before 2020: Newman College tutor launches foodbank album

Ryan Hamilton on stage

Photo  by Clare NolanRyan Hamilton on stage

Photo  by Clare Nolan
Ryan Hamilton on stage Photo by Clare Nolan
A Preston college tutor is hitting the high note in his bid to help provide vital food supplies for the needy.

Ryan Hamilton, who teaches business studies at the city's Cardinal Newman College has launched an online charity album to raise money for local foodbanks.

During his free time Ryan is one half of a duo with fellow musician Craig Payne and wanted to do something to help struggling families in the wake of the school meals fiasco.

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In "normal times" Ryan would have organised a concert to raise money, but as Covid-19 restrictions have put paid to that, he had to think outside the box.

Ryan and Craig in action                                   Photo by Stephan WilloughbyRyan and Craig in action                                   Photo by Stephan Willoughby
Ryan and Craig in action Photo by Stephan Willoughby

He said: "I was throwing some ideas around with (band mate) Craig and friend Sarah Hanson, who had recently helped organise the Harris ‘Stream to the Streets’ shows and we came up with the idea for an online charity album where artists/bands would submit music and then the proceeds would go to local food banks."

Once they agreed on a plan Ryan starting contacting musician friends to get involved - and so far more than 50 bands who have offered their services for the cause.

Things quickly escalated from Ryan contacting musicians, to them getting in touch with him.

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He said: "The thing I’ve found is that it’s the musicians who have the least – they are all suffering at the moment due to not being able to work – who are the most generous with their art and time.”

The group also managed to get some bigger, more well-known local bands onboard, such as the Lancashire Hotpots and Boothby Graffoe, who have all committed to contributing to the album.

In the spirit of keeping things local the first song on the album is ‘Kids Today’ by Preston-based 1960s band Dennis Delight, which is just the start of this really eclectic collaboration.

The album, Best Before 2020, is due to be launched on December 4 and hopes to raise much needed funds to support local food banks providing vital support to increasing numbers of people and families.

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All proceeds from the downloads of the album will be donated to The Trussell Trust, who support a nationwide network of foodbanks which provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty.

For more details about the initiative and how you can get a copy, visit >>