A Midlothian DJ hit the decks in his living room and raised more than £7000 for coronavirus patients and hard-pressed nursing staff.

Painter and decorator Billy Dempsey, 47, who runs City Discos in his spare time, livestreamed a 90s Old Skool Classics set on Facebook which at one point had more than 1600 viewers tuning in from as far afield as the United States, Canada, Belgium, Germany and Abu Dhabi.

Billy had been encouraged by friends after he put on a similar 80s disco evening the previous week and so decided to set up a PayPal account for anyone wishing to make donations in support of healthcare workers.

Supported by his wife Louise and daughter Kara, 9, the family laid on a five hour party from their front room in Bonnyrigg. They only expected to raise a few hundred pounds in the process and have been astounded to top £7200 with donations still coming.

DJ Billy Dempsey

The funds raised will be used to purchase essentials such as toothbrushes, toiletries, pyjamas and socks for seriously ill coronavirus patients who are unable to rely on family support because of lockdown restrictions.

The Dempsey family will also spread the cash out to support individual wards at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Sick Kid’s Hospital, with any remaining funds donated to NHS Lothian.

Billy and family

Billy said: “I have been DJing since I was 15 and this livestreaming set just started as something to keep family and friends amused. My City Disco business is obviously closed down at the moment but my decks were lying about so I decided to set up in the front room.

“The 80s night was a great success and lots of people suggested we should do it again but this time try and raise some money for the brilliant NHS. We have been blown away by the response and it is incredible that we are sitting at £7282.93 with still more coming in.

“As the NHS is not a charity we can’t donate the money directly, but we know friends and family working in the Covid-19 frontline and we have been told it would be a great help to use the money to get essential items for coronavirus patients. 

“We are working out the best way to do this and how to buy and distribute items which will make a real difference to those who are in seriously ill in hospital, and hopefully make their stay a bit more comfortable.

“There are other items which can be bought for individual wards which will make life a bit easier for the nurses and doctors keeping us safe and saving lives.

“The whole experience has been fantastic and we would like to thank everyone who listened in, who left comments and who supported us with donations.”

The Dempsey Family