ORGANISERS of a major musical fundraiser to benefit babies in special care are returning to strike a chord with supporters as they stage the popular event for a second year.
Tickets for SCBUstock, raising money for Raigmore Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit, are already on sale over a month before the show at The Spectrum Centre in Inverness on Saturday February 27.
Taking to the stage will be Sara Bills & The Hasbeens, Dr Wook, Verona, Woodentooth, The Side and Lional, with the varied bill providing an eclectic musical mix of some of the region’s most hotly-tipped bands and artists.
Additional entertainment will be provided in the venue’s bar area where refreshments served by Bars R Us will be accompanied by retro tunes from Gramophone DJ, and souvenir photo booth snaps by Betty Booth.
Last year’s event was hailed a major success after more than 300 people attended the event and organisers handed over a cheque to the tune of £12,000.
Musician Kris Douglas, who performs as Dr Wook, and his wife Stephanie hit upon the idea after their 16-month-old son Sam spent time at the unit after he was born.
"When I first thought of SCBUstock I had an initial target of £500 – to have exceeded that by so much was just unbelievable," Kris said.
Stephanie, a nurse herself, said the raffle donations are already rolling in for 2016, with festival tickets and luxury getaway breaks among the coveted prizes.
"Local businesses have really got behind us – our costs on the night are being sponsored by Jacobite Cruises and The Heathmount Hotel, meaning every penny raised will go direct to SCBU," she said.
"Their generosity is really overwhelming, we can’t thank them enough."
Door staff services on the night will again be provided free of charge by Moray Security Ltd.
A star feature of the 2015 concert was the auction of a "tattooed" guitar, donated by The Music Station and customised by acclaimed tattoo artist Kenny Howden of The Inverness Tattoo Centre.
It had attracted a bid of £275 prior to the event but on the night was bought by a group bid by friends and family of the organisers for £1080. The group then gifted the symbolic guitar to the couple’s baby Sam.
"We couldn’t understand why our friends were bidding so much," Stephanie added. "When they announced that they had clubbed together to buy and give the guitar to Sam there wasn’t a dry eye in the house."
Money from last year was spent on equipment including a Vapotherm machine which heats oxygen, making inhalation less painful for babies with breathing difficulties. The couple know of at least one instance when it has enabled a sick child to be returned to the Highlands from hospital in Edinburgh.
"We personally know that parents and babies who rely on the Special Care unit are going through what can be the most difficult time of their lives," Kris said.
"We hope SCBUstock will again be able to help make a difference to tiny babies, giving them the best start in life."
Tickets for the event cost £10 and can be purchased on www.ticketsource.co.uk