Social Charity Spy: Save the Children and Benedict Cumberbatch launch fundraising single for refugee crisis

11 Sep 2015 Voices

A re-release of the Crowded House song Help is Coming is raising money for Save the Children’s refugee crisis appeal, with a video fronted by Benedict Cumberbatch.

From today Apple’s proceeds from downloads of the song will be donated to the charity and a limited edition seven inch vinyl has been produced and will be available from 28 September and can be pre-ordered here. Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Capitol Records also both agreed to donate the royalties and all proceeds from the track will go to the charity. 

Finn said: “First recorded in 1995, quietly released in 1999, Help Is Coming has had a long journey to find a good home. It was always a song about refugees even if at the time I was thinking about the immigrants setting off on ships from Europe to America, looking for a better life for their families in America.”

This morning the #HelpisComing discussion on Twitter was trending ahead of One Direction.

The actor Benedict Cumberbatch has fronted a short YouTube film, by director Mat Whitecross. Since it was published yesterday it has been viewed more than 3,000 times on Youtube.

The fundraising effort was instigated by the writers Caitlin Moran and Pete Paphides.

Paphides said: “I started imagining my family in a similar situation, and almost without me realising it, a song I hadn't heard for several years started playing in my head.

Help Is Coming was recorded by Crowded House over 20 years ago, but it evokes with uncanny empathy the howling uncertainty faced by thousands of families arriving in Europe for the first time.

“The following day, I contacted friends at The Vinyl Factory – a label that owns the old EMI pressing plant in Hayes – with a view to manufacturing a seven-inch single with all the proceeds going to Save the Children. They responded immediately, offering to waive all their manufacturing costs.”

Why we love it: there has been an extraordinary public response to the refugee crisis but that doesn’t mean charities can stop thinking of creative ways to get their message out there. That's why it’s great to see Save the Children harnessing the enthusiasm of the entertainment industry.