An amateur pianist who achieved his life-long ambition to perform Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto has raised more than £65,000 for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Charles Wookey has spent 50 years dreaming of playing the piece with an orchestra, and finally had the opportunity to perform to an audience at The Birley Centre, Eastbourne.

Andy Sherwood, former conductor of Brighton Youth Orchestra among others, conducted the orchestra of amateurs and professionals, as they played Sibelius: Finlandia, Rachmaninoff: Piano concerto No 2 and Arnold: A Grand, Grand Overture.

St Wilfrid’s Hospice Community Fundraiser, Michele Mitchell, said: ‘Charles and all involved put on a fantastic afternoon of music and entertainment, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. An incredible amount was raised and money is still coming in so we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended and donated.’

St Wilfrid’s Hospice provides high-quality care and support for people across Eastbourne, Seaford, Hailsham, Uckfield, Heathfield (and all points between) with life-limiting illnesses. Find out more at

Picture caption: Charles Wookey’s performance was a big success