As its International Volunteer Day we wanted to celebrate one particular member of our team, Claudia.

By day, Claudia works as our Chard Branch Administrator: she is the central nervous system of our busiest branch and a wonderful asset to One Step.

But Claudia is also part of the Kingsbury Episcopi Band; a group of talented, local musicians that volunteer for this established charity band.

They play at a variety of concerts throughout the year – “We are a village band from Somerset and we make music to celebrate life on the Levels. We find ourselves very much involved in the local community. We perform for various events in the local area, from village fetes to open air concerts, and we also support a local group in their annual march to raise money for local good causes…there is no audition to pass. We do not have mandatory subscriptions, but we would welcome a voluntary donation of, say, £5 per month from those who can afford to pay.

Many young people learn an instrument at school but are unable to play in the school band or orchestra and sadly never experience the joy of performing”.

Claudia’s reasons for joining at a mix of a charitable drive and a familial link!

“I joined the band in 2013, and rediscovered my love of music. Practicing once a week, and with around 30 concerts a year you quickly feel like part of the family. There is a real sense of community within the band, from young to old and of all abilities everyone is made to feel welcome and you find yourself mixing with people you may not usually cross paths with, all because of one common interest.

Established over 100 years ago, generations of families have played in the band – I am an example of this as my mum also plays! We play for a lot of fund-raising events – this Friday the proceeds from our concert are going towards facilities for the church where we’re playing.

Last year, we held our first open rehearsal where we encouraged members of the public to bring along their instruments & join in. We found this to be a huge success as it gave us the opportunity to welcome new members to the band and also gave people a chance to see how we rehearse – all for free! “

If you’d like to read more about the band and attend any of their wonderful functions click on the link below!