Top of the Charity Pops: Our pick of the best chart hopefuls raising money for good causes

17 Dec 2021 Voices

This year's selection of charity Christmas songs features a lot of Elton John, and I make no apology for that fact

M&S TikTok stars doing some Christmas rapping for charity

LadBaby, featuring Ed Sheeran and Elton John, supporting the Trussell Trust 

We’re not sure who’s riding on whose coat tails here; international pop legends Elton John and Ed Sheeran, or LadBaby, a blogger with a confusing obsession with sausage rolls who has claimed the number one spot for the last three years.  

Either way the Trussell Trust is definitely winning, with 100% of the proceeds from Sausage Rolls for Everyone supporting the network of foodbanks. 

The collaboration proves that no-one needs to take themselves too seriously, but in sad news for LadBaby fans, he’s suggested that this year may be his last bid for Christmas Number One.  

Ed Sheeran and Elton John supporting Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation

Busy pop stars don’t sit around with just the one charity Christmas song, and Ed Sheeran and Elton John have recorded a new song to raise money for charities close to their hearts. 

We won’t spoil it but the video for Merry Christmas is like a greatest hits of all our favourite festive moments and profits are going to help the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. 

Even if you’re not a fan of Ed, Elton or Christmas (well frankly you’re probably quite disappointed with this feature), the video is worth a watch for Ed’s Christmas shorts alone. 

Demezla Hospice Choir #FestiveWishes campaign

As part of Demelza’s Festive Wishes the hospice choir has recorded their own version of Fall on Me by Andrea and Matteo Bocelli.

The project came about when 49-year-old Sam, from Kent, whose ten-year old Lucy has a unique genetic condition and multiple medical issues which means she is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair, asked if they could sing the song as part of music therapy sessions.

Sam says: “The words resonated so much with me. Having a child with a life-threatening condition, all that means on a day-to-day basis and with the added pressure of shielding from Covid-19, lockdown felt isolating. When we needed help, Demelza staff were there to catch us from falling.”

The campaign hopes to raise £100,000. This year, the charity is raising money to grant special wishes for children and families who are facing the reality that this Christmas could be their last together. 

United Response’s original song  

Learning disability charity United Response has entered the race for Christmas Number One with an original track, which was written and performed people the charity helps and its staff.   

Senior support worker Andrew Bowen wrote the Dance With You and says the lyrics were inspired by Zoom sessions during lockdown: “The sessions connected people with fun activities and almost always ended in us dancing…Like many people, I was finding the days tough and nothing seemed to be going right but my troubles seemed to disappear when everyone united to sing and dance!”

The video features features people with autism and learning disabilities from across the country, singing and spreading cheer.

As well as raising money, the charity hopes that the video play a part in increasing the visible representation of neurodiverse and people with learning disabilities in the UK charts.

Eileen who is supported by United Response in the North East, and dances in the music video said: “I love dancing, I showed everyone how to dance like me, it makes me happy to dance and see everyone else dancing too. I would also like everyone all around the world to watch the video so everyone can see my dancing.”

Out of the Blue supporting Helen & Douglas House

Ok, let’s just accept it this Christmas 2021 is all about Elton John because the next track is a cover of his classic Step Into Christmas. 

Out of the Blue, Oxford University’s all-male a cappella group, always make an effort at Christmas, to raise money for Helen & Douglas House hospice. This year’s video even features tap dancing. 

TRY supporting Leeds Hospitals Charity appeal to build an MND centre 

Songwriters Tony Hall, Steve Jones and Ian Thompson wanted to help those affected by the pandemic and had been moved by the story of Rob and Lindsey Burrow and their journey through motor neuron disease. So the band TRY decided to rework their song Welcome as a Christmas charity single. 

Originally the song was part of a performance piece Silent Night written to commemorate the centenary of the 1914 Christmas truce. During lockdown they reached out to an eclectic mix of musicians and technicians who gave their time and expertise for free. 

The single can be bought as a gift with a personal message and forwarded to friends and families e-mail account from the iTunes website.
Rob Burrow said: “The single Welcome sums up the spirit of providing a Centre for everyone affected by MND here in Leeds. I would like to thank everyone who provided their talented to make the single possible. Hopefully we can come together to make this the biggest Christmas Welcome possible.”


Basil Brush supporting Shooting Star Children’s Hospices 

Children’s television puppet Basil Brush has recorded the perfect festive song for anyone nostalgic for the late seventies Top of the Pops era (for those of us too young to enjoy those shows first time around, BBC Four has been airing re-runs). 

I’m Gonna Dream This Christmas (That It’s 1979!) is raising money for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. It’s not the first time Basil has used his musical talents to support the charity – in 2019 he covered White Christmas to support the cause.

M&S Romford’s TikTok stars supporting Shelter and Together for Short Lives

It wouldn’t be Christmas if there wasn’t someone draped in fairy lights while rapping, and this year’s effort comes from M&S Romford, with This is Not Just a Christmas Song!

This autumn the team wen viral on TikTok with videos and dance routines and now songwriter Jack Brooker, a member of the store’s social media account team, has penned an original tune celebrating the supermarket’s Christmas food. 

He said: “We’re so excited we can use the focus on our TikTok videos to raise money for such good causes. Our customers are so excited too. We’ve been stopped several times for photos and even been asked to sign receipts!” 

M&S is donating profits from the sale of the song to Shelter and Together For Short Lives. 

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