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Hand of Hope

The Idea

Inspired by public acts of solidarity – notably Clap for Our Carers – and the resilient creativity of culture in quarantine, the creators of Hand of Hope, Nigel Short and Piers Schmidt, conceived the idea of reinterpreting a much-loved hymn to create an uplifting, rallying anthem to mark this unprecedented moment.
Inspired by public acts of solidarity – notably Clap for Our Carers – and the resilient creativity of culture in quarantine, the creators of Hand of Hope, Nigel Short and Piers Schmidt, conceived the idea of reinterpreting a much-loved hymn to create an uplifting, rallying anthem to mark this unprecedented moment.

The Cause

COVID-19 Research

100% of all proceeds (donations and monies raised from the downloads of Hand of Hope) will be used by the University of Oxford’s Medical Sciences Division to fast track the development of world-class research into understanding and developing tools to treat COVID-19.

The University of Oxford is at the forefront of the endeavour to understand and beat the coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect our communities, both in the UK and throughout the world. Over 150 of Oxford’s senior scientists have diverted their efforts towards facing this crisis and driving forward research across a number of key areas including drug development, immune response and antibodies as well as the vaccine itself.

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Text & Music
The poem was commissioned from Alexander McCall Smith, one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors.

In verse one, Alexander acknowledges the challenge that the coronavirus issued. In the second verse, he salutes the carers who ‘never left our side’ and in the final verse, he looks forward to a ‘future victory’ when hopefully a vaccine will bring the awful disease back under our control.

Alexander’s moving text has been set to Gustav Holst’s stirring tune ‘Thaxted’.