Man who nearly lost his voice to cancer set for festive neighbourhood performance

The main stage, 31 Helmsdale Close in Rise Park. 

The main stage, 31 Helmsdale Close in Rise Park. - Credit: David Game

A vocalist who thought he might never sing again will perform a festive Christmas singalong for his Rise Park neighbours this week. 

On Thursday, Helmsdale Close resident Gary Cook will be singing Christmas classics from the main stage – his garden, lit up with Christmas lights. 

The amateur singer, whose pubs-and-clubs career was put in jeopardy by a nasal cancer diagnosis in 2019, is raising money for Cancer Research UK. 

Neighbour David Game, who is one of a group organising the event, said Gary – now in remission – has a “fantastic voice” and said the gathering would be a "nice little get together in a quiet cul-de-sac”. 

In addition to the serenade, which begins at 6.30pm, there will also be activity stalls and a raffle, with prizes including new bikes, restaurant vouchers and golf days. 

“It’s ridiculous how generous people have been,” noted David, who said they were expecting more than 100 guests. 

There will be hot drinks and snacks and possibly even a hot food van. 

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The event is from 5.30pm to 8pm at 31 Helmsdale Close on  December 23.

It has been organised by David, Gary, Gary’s wife Louise Cook and Louise Collier, along with other neighbours.

For more information, contact David at david_game19@hotmail.com