Teenage heart throb Ollie Garland, visited Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital last night as part of his promotional tour which will see him play live and meet children in nine UK hospitals.
The Bristol born singer / songwriter is donating the proceeds of his new single ‘Dry Your Eyes’ to children’s hospital charity Radio Lollipop. Ollie has over 35,000 followers on Twitter, and his debut single “It’s all about you” was a smash when it was launched on ITunes back in April.
Ollie is thrilled to be taking part in promoting and fund-raising for Radio Lollipop – a charity established 33 years ago to bring care, comfort, play and entertainment to sick children in hospital. He believes Radio Lollipop to be a great cause and it is near to his heart as his cousin regularly receives treatment and care at Bristol’s children’s hospital.
Prior to visiting the hospital, Ollie met some of his fans, and treated them to a few songs in the Hilton Hotel in Grosvenor Crescent.
Taking a break from signing his autograph on photos, phones and CDs, the 17 year old spoke exclusively to the Edinburgh Reporter to explain why the charity means so much to him.
“My cousin Lulu is only seven years old and she has brain damage. Radio Lollipop have been really good to her and having visited the Hospital and seen the work that Radio Lollipop does, I felt that I wanted to do something in return.
“My single “Dry Your Eyes” that I wrote especially to do this, puts across the feelings that children go through when they’re in hospital and the support that they get from Radio Lollipop’s volunteers. I’m honoured to be able to do it.
“I recorded it in Nashville which was an amazing experience. I will be visiting nine hospitals, and doing seven ‘meet and greets.’
“I flew into Edinburgh this morning and will be performing tomorrow at the Edinburgh Festival before travelling to Newcastle then back up the road to Glasgow. The tour ends with a VIP Party where celebrities such as Peter Andre and Joey Essex will be there.”
Hedley Finn MBE, Chairman of Radio Lollipop UK said: “We are happy and proud to have such a talented young artist supporting our sick children. It will be an excellent promotional activity for our cause alongside fund-raising for much needed play materials and to help develop our ambition of providing our Radio Lollipop service in more of the UK’s specialist children’s hospitals. Ollie G will be visiting our hospitals in Bristol, Southampton, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Glasgow (with a link to Dundee), Manchester, Birmingham, Evelina in Westminster and concluding at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The children, their families and our volunteers are all looking forward to meeting Ollie and listening to his special Radio Lollipop inspired song”.
With Ollie’s career going from strength to strength, the unassuming youngster also spoke of his ambitions and immediate future once this tour is over. He said: “My ambition is to be a successful artist, travel the world and have a number one single. Headlining Wembley would be great as well. I am hopeful that this song will get into the charts and Christian Beadle is supporting it on twitter. After the Radio Lollipop tour, I will be performing in front of 40,000 fans in Swansea supporting ‘Steps’ which will be crazy.”
Today Ollie will be performing at Burdiehouse Community Centre.
Ollie’s tour of Radio Lollipop hospitals is being supported by Great Western Railway and Holiday Inn – to ensure costs are kept to a minimum and that the maximum amount is available for Radio Lollipop causes.
Radio Lollipop provides care, comfort, play and entertainment for children and young people, primarily in hospitals. The service to children and young people is provided entirely by volunteers who have been selected, and trained to make a child’s stay in hospital more fun
Radio Lollipop is currently in 26 hospitals around the world in the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand. The charity is in the process of expanding into other countries, including to Cape Town, South Africa – home of the only dedicated children’s hospital in sub-Saharan Africa.
Most of the hospitals where a Radio Lollipop service is provided have a radio studio, providing a unique child‐orientated programme of interactive competitions, music, stories and games.