2,000 singers bid for chart spot in desperate bid to save little girl’s life

Emma Whittaker, four, and her brother James, three
Emma Whittaker, four, and her brother James, three

Two thousand voices are bidding for a spot in the Top 40 in a desperate attempt to find a blood stem cell donor for a little girl for whom time is running out.

Six-year old Emma Whittaker, from Pitstone in Buckinghamshire, suffers from the rare genetic condition Fanconi Anaemia and needs to find a donor by March if her live is to be saved.

Now three new artists who’ve been championed by BBC Radio have joined forces with 2000 voices recorded across the UK to release a charity single to promote Emma’s donor search.

The song, The Rest Of Time – written and produced by alternative folk duo The Portraits who performed at this year’s Glastonbury Festival – will raise funds for the charity Delete Blood Cancer UK while appealing to the general public to sign up to the UK Stem Cell Registry.

The Portraits’ singer Lorraine Reilly Millington said: “We wanted to create a huge national choir by layering the voices of different crowds we played to and every person that has sung will be credited on the single.

“There are enough people with an interest in its success that reaching the charts is really achievable, and this would make a huge noise for Emma and everyone else searching for a donor!”

The track will also feature acoustic duo Ethemia – regulars on Gaby Roslin’s BBC Radio London show – and Minnie Birch, whowas selected for airplay by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1.

Lorraine explained that the song’s upbeat sound is a testament to the positivity of the public. She said: “We’ve had such an amazing reaction from real people as we’ve recorded them.

“The UK has sung its heart out for one little girl, from Lancaster to Leighton Buzzard, Cornwall to Camden.

“The results are stunning and the song has a huge momentum behind it. Next stop, the charts!”

For more on Emma’s plight, read our previous story here.