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Charity Single Fundraising Target£405.20Raised
FROM Heralding to harking, a group of local journalists have swapped their notebooks for instruments this month, and recorded a lively Christmas single for two brilliant mental health charities.

Aptly naming themselves ‘Off The Record’, the band – Nigel McDonagh (rhythm guitar), Victoria Housden (vocals and keyboards), Darren Pritchard (vocals) and Michael Devlin (rhythm guitar) – are aiming to raise as much money as possible for Zest, Killyclogher, and Support 2gether, Omagh, with their lively guitar-laden version of the Christmas classic, ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’.

Funded by the local community, Zest, healing the hurt of self-harm and suicide, located opposite The Village Inn, Killyclogher, is an organisation which offers supportive care to people suffering emotional pain and hurt, with the aim to provide a place of genuine acceptance and living hope to those in need.

Support 2gether, located at Omagh Community House, is a charity that provides education and support in a non-judgemental, safe environment, for families living with ante-natal and post-natal depression.

‘Put a smile on people’s faces’

‘Herald editor, rhythm guitarist and all-round rockstar of ‘Off The Record’, Nigel McDonagh said the idea was to try and close 2020 on ‘an optimistic note’, while doing something positive for our fantastic local community.

“As it has been such a challenging year for so many people, we wanted to do something that could raise some funds for local groups who need it, and also put a smile on people’s faces,” Nigel said. “If we can do those two things, it’ll be a job well done.”
Indeed, there was much excitement and fervour in the John Street office, when the band’s highly-anticipated debut track made its world premiere on the Hugo Duncan show – with enthusiastic colleagues dancing along to every beat.

But as well as the new single, the group have released a fun-filled video to accompany the song on the Ulster Herald Facebook page.


Expertly captured by Oscar Bradley, from ‘OverBoard Media’, the video, which takes place in a beautifully-decorated office, stars Santa Claus himself, as well as fantastic Christmas videos submitted by the local community, and key workers from the health service.

‘Vital work’

“We have so many charities who do amazing work in the local community,” Nigel continued. “However, mental health is always an important issue, especially given the year we’ve just had.

“We hope to raise as much money as we can for Zest and Support 2gether, which both do vital work in the community,” he added. “And hopefully people will enjoy the song and the video. We had great fun recording both – and who knows, this might even be the start of an exciting musical journey for Off The Record!”

Off The Record would like to extend their sincerest thanks to Oscar Bradley from OverBoard Media who very generously filmed and edited the band’s music video; to Wayne Golden, who recorded and produced the song to the highest standard; and to Santa Claus who took time out of his busy Christmas schedule to take part in the video – and perform amazing guitar solos! 

The band would additionally like to thank everyone for their ongoing support, and for their kind donations to both ‘Zest’ and ‘Support 2gether’.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW