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Morden mum’s parting gift raises £30,000

A Morden father has made his late wife’s parting wish a reality, raising £30,000 for her favourite charity with a re-recording of the Sounds of Blackness single “Hold on Change is Coming”.

Much-loved mother of two, Ruth Merriman, had a dream before she died – for her friends and family to record her favourite song to help raise funds for Jigsaw4U, a charity which helps children in difficulty.

Ruth’s simple idea saw local schools, choirs, musicians and dance groups taking part in a project that smashed Ruth and husband John’s hoped-for target of £3,000 within just two days of Ruth’s tragic death on 9th March.

Once Ruth had announced her wish, music studio owner and producer John set up a Just Giving page and then got to work on the single, with much of the new recording taking place at the family business, Crown Lane Studio in Morden, southwest London.

The new version of this beautifully uplifting song along with a moving video was released on Monday 25th March to coincide with Ruth’s funeral on what would have been her 39th birthday.

The project has involved staff and 400 pupils from Ruth and John’s sons’ school, Hillcross Primary, with the support of local choir Inner Harmony of which Ruth was a founding member. It also features percussion performances from Ruth’s sons Asher (7) and Nathan (11) as well as winners of the school’s recent talent contest and solo cameos from students whom Ruth had mentored.

Meanwhile, Sutton Dance Academy, of which younger son Asher is a member, secretly choreographed, rehearsed and filmed an emotional dance to complement the song.

Ruth’s husband John said:

Out of something so tragic has come something so very beautiful that will impact thousands of people. I just wish Ruth were here to enjoy this – she would be as amazed as I am at everyone’s creativity and generosity.

Ruth was training to be an advocate for the charity Jigsaw4U in July 2018 when she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. This charity, which offers help to children and young adults going through a variety of difficulties, has been instrumental in supporting Ruth and John’s own sons as they as they have dealt with Ruth’s diagnosis and illness.