SINGER Kate’s mum died far too young.

The Devon woman passed away seven years ago at the age of 57 – after a fight that saw her battle breast cancer and leukaemia.

“It still feels like it was yesterday,” said former BBC journalist Kate Benson.

The 38-year-old from Old Town knows how devastating cancer can be.

It’s why she’ll lead scores of singers onto the Wyvern Theatre stage later this year for a charity concert in aid of Brighter Futures’ radiotherapy appeal.

The Rock Choir leader hopes that the night of song will get the Great Western Hospital appeal over its £2.9m target.

“When mum went through treatment it was right on her doorstep,” said Kate. “She did it every day.

“But when I came to Swindon and one of my Rock Choir members told me about the appeal I was absolutely horrified that a radiotherapy centre didn’t exist.”

Kate established the Swindon and Wiltshire branch of UK-wide Rock Choir two-and-a-half years ago.

The music graduate, who left a career in BBC newsrooms, began with 30-40 members. Now, she has 300 – spread across three choirs in the county.

They regularly perform their toe-tapping hits in big venues. And they’re bringing their show to Swindon in July – with all profits going to the Brighter Futures appeal.

The choir hope to raise “in excess” of £10,000 on the evening.

Kate said: “We’re hoping that on this night we’re going to invite all the people who have made a difference to this campaign for a great big feel-good celebration.

“We wanted to create something where we can make a big difference and a lasting difference to this appeal.

“We’ll do what we do best, in the best setting for the biggest appeal this county has ever seen.”

Kate is yet to finalise the programme for the concert.

But one of her favourites - classic Don’t Leave Me This Way made famous by The Communards’ - will be on the set list.

The programme will be a mix of tearjerkers and upbeat bangers.

At least, says Kate, they have plenty of material from which to choose.

“All songs are about love, pain, anguish and loss,” she said.

But they’ll end on a high.

Kate said: “When you’re caring for someone with cancer, you need relief.”

The Rock Choir will be at the Wyvern Theatre on Sunday, July 22, from 7.30pm.

Tickets will go on sale later this winter and can be bought from the Wyvern Theatre box office.

To buy, visit: or call 01793 524481 or visit the Wyvern Theatre, Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm.