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Shaggy stars at UK charity ball to raise money for Jamaican children

Published:Friday | November 27, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Orville 'Shaggy' Burrell performs for a high-spirited audience at a charity ball in the United Kingdom to raise money for the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Jamaica.

The Shaggy Make A Difference Foundation and Chain of Hope have forged a closer partnership allowing Jamaicans living in the United Kingdom to support their mission to provide life-saving heart treatment for patients at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew.

For several years, Chain of Hope doctors and other medical practitioners have been travelling to Jamaica to help children who are unable to afford heart treatment.

But for the first time, the charity group joined with Shaggy’s foundation last week to stage a fundraising ball in the UK to raise money for the mission in Kingston.

International superstar Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell, through his foundation, is spearheading the construction of a new cardiac wing at the Bustamante hospital.

"This was just a dream; it was a very impulsive move, from just meeting a little girl with a bullet lodged in her head," said Shaggy.

Chain of Hope, a UK-based charity organisation brings together experts from around the world to provide life-saving heart treatments to children in developing and war-torn countries.

Emma Scanlan, the chief executive officer of Chain of Hope, says the organisation decided to join Shaggy in targeting the Jamaican Diaspora in the UK because it wants to do more to help Jamaican children.

"In Jamaica, 400 children are born every year with heart disease and it's a very important issue that we help the children of Jamaica get the treatment that they need," Scanlan said.

Since the first concert in 2009, Shaggy & Friends has raised funds to help buy more than 460 pieces of life-saving equipment for the Bustamante Hospital for Children, increasing its capacity to provide quality health care for the children of Jamaica and the Caribbean.

The next concert is slated for January 2, 2016 on the lawns of Jamaica House.