Music performance to fund medical mission to India

Dr Sanjay Desphande, Jamie Lambert and Shelley Quantrill with a poster for the event.
Dr Sanjay Desphande, Jamie Lambert and Shelley Quantrill with a poster for the event.
Have your say

A WASHINGTON singer is heading a musical effort to raise cash to send medics to poverty-stricken India.

Jamie Lambert and the Strictly Smokin’ Big Band will be headlining the musical extravaganza that will help to send a team of medical volunteers to the one of the poorest areas of India.

In October, the SVJC Trust fund-raiser will take over Temple Park Leisure Centre, in South Shields, for the evening, with all cash raised going towards the team of 20’s travel costs and shipping equipment for their January trip.

Jamie, 22, started his singing career as a 15-year-old when he won the Open Zone Idol talent contest at the Customs House, South Shields.

Since then, he has played to audiences nationally and internationally.

The SVJC Trust was set up by a team from South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, led by Dr Sanjay Deshpande, a consultant anaesthetist.

Dr Deshpande first had the idea for the mission to Walawalkar Hospital, in Dervan in India, in 2005.

Since then, every year a team of doctors and nurses have given up their time to carry out operations at the hospital and in outreach camps.

During an intensive week in January this year, the group of about 20 including medics from Spire Washington Hospital and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust helped 150 patients.

They performed operations including restoring sight, correcting facial deformities, hernia repairs and replacing joints.

SVJC treasurer Shelley Quantrill said: “Next year will be the eighth time we have made the trip.

“It is always very worthwhile: in a very short space of time, we are able to transform people’s lives by giving them a quality of life they could never have enjoyed if they were left untreated.

“At the same time, we take the opportunity to educate the staff in best practice and we’ve been privileged to see the hospital progress so much in the last few years.

“Going to Walawalkar Hospital is a humbling, immensely rewarding experience and the gratitude of the patients and staff speaks volumes.

“Each year we try and raise about £5,000 towards the costs of the trip and, in the past, we’ve done everything from a sponsored zip wire from the Tyne Bridge and abseils to bag-packing in supermarkets.

“When Jamie volunteered to help organise a night of entertainment we were delighted to take him up on his offer because it was something we’d not done before.”

The concert on Friday, October 5, is from 7pm to midnight. Tickets cost £10 and are available on 07921 560 551 or 07717 710 042.

Anyone interested in making a financial contribution to the SVJC Trust, or in donating books, clothing and equipment, can contact Dr Deshpande on 202 4046

To find out more about the SVJC Trust go to

Twitter: @sunechochief