Blackpool nurse Dawn Ronson and partner Voice contestant Dave Barnes release charity single #applaudNHS to honour NHS colleagues
A Blackpool nurse, diagnosed with a chronic illness late in pregnancy, has collaborated with her partner on a very special musical tribute to honour her colleagues and fellow NHS workers
The single #applaudNHS, which features internationally-acclaimed soprano Christina Johnston, was released on Good Friday and as well as climbing the iTunes chart has received backing from a a number of high profile acts including Ricky Wilson from the Kaiser Chiefs, rock legend Suzi Quattro and Britain’s Got Talent winner, Colin Thackery, a Chelsea Pensioner.
Former military nurse Dawn Ronson and fiance, former Voice UK contestant Dave Barnes, 41, from Burnley, came up with the project after being released from hospital after the premature birth of their first baby Shelby, now seven weeks old.
The couple, both former soldiers, wanted to thank their local hospital The Queen Elizabeth, in Birmingham, after a heavily pregnant Dawn was forced to spend three weeks there with a chronic illness.
Daughter Shelby was delivered five weeks prematurely in February.
A nine-strong team pulled the project together in just eight days, starting within 24 hours of the couple coming up with the idea.
Dawn, 32, who grew up in Hambleton and is currently on maternity leave said they were incredibly proud of the feat, given the group had written, recorded, made a music video and delivered the track without any of them meeting each other because of the social lockdown.
The former Hodgson High School pupil said: "With my diagnosis, as a new mum with a premature baby this has given us both something as a thank you to the most wonderful care workers who really pulled us through a testing time but also in helping us come to terms with my illness and then the lockdown too.
"We're so proud and it if raises a bit of money and helps bring some positivity to people we've done what we set out to do."
Lead singer on #applaudNHS Dave, who was part of Ricky Wilson's team in The Voice 2016..... "It's gone crazy to be honest. The whole story really you couldn't write it, it started as a thank you from Dawn and I and has grown to become something much more.
"We want this song to be one of hope, something of an anthem people can look back and remember as part of this time.
"Everything from the lyrics to the video - it really captures the moment. It's really emotional and has that connection with the public, we're incredibly proud."
Dave, who served 24 years in the Royal Engineers and the Corps of Army Music, added: "When Dawn was diagnosed five weeks before she was due - it was the first time she had been on the receiving end of NHS care. The support was just incredible, we felt we owed something back.
“Dawn is also a staff sister at the Queen Elizabeth and she’s gutted to be in isolation and on maternity leave when she would like to be their on the front line, which she has first hand knowledge in.
“We came up with this idea of trying to help them from a distance - it's gone well beyond our expectations and we just want to say such a big thank you to the team who made it happen and that gave all their time and skills for nothing."
Dawn and Dave approached Mark Wickenden, music producer at Sonic Boom Records first and have also called on songwriters Adrian Warwick and Mark Young to come up with lyrics and melody, while Ben Newton played the guitar.
Videographer Stephen W Bates produced the accompanying video.Susan Osbourne from the NHS and Frances Barrett have worked alongside Dawn on the song's promotion.