ALMOST £3,000 has been raised by Jack Townsend, the singing sensation who blew Swindon’s shoppers away this Christmas, for The Guide Dogs for the Blind charity.
The 22-year-old was hired as a temporary member of staff to work on the tills over the festive period, but his experience in the entertainment industry made him a musical asset on the shop floor.
Jack began his playlist of swing and Christmas music on December 11 and didn’t drop the microphone until Christmas Eve, at which point the buckets at his feet were emptied to reveal £2,738.
Many shoppers were stopped in their tracks by Jack’s vocal talent. At the height of the Christmas shopping period many were fooled into thinking a CD was being played as they entered the store.
“It’s brilliant. I was overwhelmed really. It was lovely to see the guide dogs at the store,” said Jack, of Lomond Close, Sparcells.
“It’s lovely that people donated. It’s not just for my talent though, but for a good cause.
“It was quite tiring on the voice, singing for four hours every day, but worth it in the end.”
Jack singing at the store
The guide dogs group is M&S’s chosen charity for the year, and will use the money to cover the vets’ bills and food for its 20 dogs in Swindon.
Chairman of the Swindon branch, Alan Fletcher, said £700 fully covers the cost of looking after all the dogs each week, meaning the money should all but cover four weeks’ cost.
Alan was at the presentation of the cheque to the charity on Wednesday. He said: “We didn’t get to hear him sing on this occasion, but my sister-in-law and wife’s aunty couldn’t believe how good he was when they came in a few weeks ago.
“I was speaking to Jack and he said it was mentally tiring for him. He said his voice took a bit of a pounding.
“It was a fantastic way of putting his time and effort into our charity. We can’t thank him enough.”
Jack left his post at M&S on January 4. He will return for a week-long stint in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, with more tunes from the shop floor.
The former West End performer said he wanted to devote more time to playing gigs and furthering his career.
He will return to a Fred Olsen Cruise Lines ship in April, which will take him around the world as an onboard entertainer.
“It was my decision really, because I need to get a few more gigs,” he said.
You can contact Jack through his Facebook page. Search for Jack Townsend Singer.