December 13, 2021 I Philanthropy

Orange CEO Donates Bandstand to Strawberry Field

Cliff Copper

When honorary patron of Strawberry Field, Cliff Cooper who also serves as CEO of Orange Amplifiers, learned about plans to develop the Strawberry Field site — where Beatle John Lennon had played as a child — as a training and work placement hub for young people with learning disabilities, he had the idea to donate and build a bandstand on the grounds.

“One of John Lennon’s earliest musical experiences was hearing The Salvation Army band playing in the gardens of Strawberry Field. How appropriate is it now to reintroduce music into the gardens,” Cooper said. “I hope the bandstand will bring immense joy to visitors from around the world and will provide a performance space to help with the development of the students of the Strawberry Field training hub. I look forward to seeing the continuance of John’s legacy, promoting peace and love in the world, an ethos [that] reflects the selfless dedication of The Salvation Army, whose people devote their lives to helping others who are in need and less fortunate than ourselves.”

After over a year of planning, the construction team has broken ground at the park in Liverpool, England. The anticipated opening date of the opening of the bandstand is April 2022.

“We are thrilled to have seen work begin on the long-awaited bandstand,” said Kathleen Versfeld, mission director at Strawberry Field. “We are looking forward to celebrity performances, performances by our Step to Work students and of course by Salvation Army bands. We are very conscious of the fact that we are in a residential neighbourhood, so our plans include significant steps to avoid noise, crowding or other forms of disturbance. We want the bandstand to bring great joy to our local community as well as to our visitors from around the world.”

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