A bid to storm the Christmas charts with a song in memory of a former Weston College student and talented musician has been launched.
Hope has been recorded by a collective of college staff, students and well-known musicians including Beth Rowley and Ryan Inglis to honour the memory of Charlie Derrick, a highly-rated 20-year-old guitarist who was killed in a car crash ten years ago.
Following Charlie's death, his mother Jules set up the Charlie Derrick Music Foundation (CDMF) and to date has raised more than £30,000 to help young musicians around North Somerset and promote local talent.
Hope is now available for download. The official launch will be accompanied by a gathering at Weston-super-Mare's Back Bar, where Charlie liked to play, and a gala launch will be held tomorrow at Weston College's University Campus, where the song was recorded.
The song has been written by Ryan Inglis and Steve Williams, a session keyboard player who was a close friend of Charlie. Lead vocalist is Lorna Thomas, a former student and friend of Charlie. An accompanying video, showing scenes from the recording was shot by lecturer Corry Raymond.
Charlie's electric guitar, which has not been played since his death, was re-strung and used to record a solo on the track.
Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis is the patron of the CDMF, and has endorsed the new single.
He said: "The Charlie Derrick Music Foundation is a great cause which helps young hardworking musicians towards achieving their goals in music, whatever they may be. It's a good song too. Please support this by downloading Hope by the Foundation from iTunes."
Endorsements have also come from Hollyoaks actor John Pickard, who plays Tony Hutchinson, and a flashmob turned out to promote the song at the official Weston Christmas lights switch-on last week.
Jules Derrick said: "This is an outstanding recording that would never have happened without the help and support of Weston College. I'm truly grateful for all the work everyone has put in."