HAIRDRESSER Becky Miles has swapped her scissors for her guitar to record a special charity single in memory of her friend, Will Gibney.
Will, a former Commonweal School and New College student, died in May at the age of 28 after battling for six months with an aggressive strain of kidney cancer.
His family have since set up Will’s Fund with the aim of raising £40,000 to provide much-needed kidney screening equipment for Cheltenham General Hospital, and his friends have been thinking of ways to help.
Some of his friends are embarking on a 133-mile over three days to raise money, while Becky, 29, who has worked at Bloomin’ Beautiful in Victoria Road for seven years, recorded an acoustic version of the Oasis classic Wonderwall, which can be downloaded on iTunes for 79p, with all proceeds going to the fund.
Becky, of Old Walcot, said: “I just want it to be as successful as possible really. I think if I get enough awareness and get people realising why the guys are doing the walk, it will help towards getting the money.
“It was such a devastating time. I knew Will for six years. I think he would be so proud. ”
Becky recorded the song earlier in the year at Mooncalf Studio, at Chiseldon, and said interest was already building on social networking websites.
“The song had been one of his favourites,” she said. “The lyrics also said everything I wanted to say. No one was ready to say goodbye to Will. This is my way of doing that, and hopefully raising some money for the charity. “If people like it and buy it, hopefully we can get nearer the £40,000 mark, which would be fantastic.”
Three friends have also stepped up to the challenge of raising money for Wills Fund by undertaking a 133-mile pilgrimage on foot, over three days, to raise more money.
Brothers Pete, 28, and Chris Ward, 26, along with friend Dave McLean, 32, started their hike from WMSki’s cableski lake in the Cotswold Water Park yesterday morning, and are aiming to arrive in Croyde, Devon, by 11pm tomorrow.
The route links two favourite places of Will’s, who was director of WMSki and WMActive.
Pete said: “For 14 years, Will was my friend, role model, rival, mentor, boss and more.
“He was a massive character, a local legend and the whole community around the Cotswold Water Park was devastated to lose him.
“His favourite places were the WMSki lake and Baggy Point in Croyde, where he loved to walk and surf. “We want to remember Will and his huge enthusiasm for life, while also contributing to the £40,000 cost of a portable ultrasound machine for the early detection of kidney cancer, to be based at Cheltenham Hospital.”
The trio, who live in Swindon, Latton and Cheltenham, plan to travel light and have just a few hours sleep each night.
Updates are available at www.facebook.com/willswalk and donations can be made by visiting www.willsfund.org or visit the Facebook group “Wills Walk”.