Wigan teacher will return to garage roof to sing by popular demand
A teacher who took to the roof of his garage to sing for his neighbours is fulfilling a pledge to do it again - and this time hopes to raise money for the NHS.
People sat in their gardens, on their own roofs and in car boots to watch Matt Ashton perform in Aspull on April 1.
But he also gained many fans around the world, after a video of his performance was posted on Facebook and watched more than 24,000 times.
Matt, who is a drama teacher at The Westleigh School, was inundated with requests for a repeat performance and promised to sing again if the coronavirus lockdown continued until May 1.
So he is now making preparations to entertain his neighbours once more, as well as many people watching across the globe in their own homes.
He will get on the roof of his garage again - inspired by the video for U2’s Where The Streets Have No Name - to sing for his fans.
Matt, who has worked as a singer since 2002, said: “We were hoping it would be a street party and maybe things might be a little easier, but realistically I knew it wouldn’t be.
“We can’t have a street party, but we can stream it into your street and as long as you stay safe in your house, we can all have a dance.”
Inspired by the fund-raising efforts of Captain Tom Moore, Matt is asking people who enjoy his shows to donate to the NHS.
It is a cause particularly close to his heart as one of his sons was born prematurely and spent a long time in hospital.
“If I can pump some money into it and make a difference, that would be fantastic,” he said.
He aims to raise £400 and hopes for plenty of support after word spread about his first show, with his pupils among those sharing the video and describing him as “famous”.
Matt will perform a range of songs, including some which proved to be popular last time, and has been asked to learn a Foo Fighters song in return for a donation.
As well as helping the NHS, he hopes to raise spirits among those watching.
Matt, 39, said: “Nothing is very easy at the moment, everything is a little bit awkward and a lot of people are on edge and very anxious. If me getting on the garage roof relaxes people for an hour and makes them smile, if we can laugh and smile together, then that’s perfect.”
His show will begin at 4pm on Friday, May 1 and will be streamed live via Facebook group Just Matt Live in Lockdown.
Donations to his appeal for the NHS can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/garagetopgig.
A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:
Thank you for reading this story on our website.
But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.
Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.
As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."
But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.
We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE:
You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.