A VIOLINIST from Kidderminster is organising a series of one-hour music concerts to raise money for local homeless charities.

Organiser Anna Downes, daughter of critically acclaimed composer Andrew Downes, will host regular events at venues across north Worcestershire and the Black Country to showcase the musical talent of local schoolchildren, while also raising funds for good causes.

Anna, 41, who is the director of music at Old Swinford Hospital School, was inspired to launch the Music for Sanctuary project after noticing an increase in rough sleepers in the lead up to Christmas.

"I grew up in the 80s and my dad was very passionate about helping the homeless so I was always very aware of it as a problem," Anna told The Shuttle. "Just before Christmas I went out handing food out to homeless people in Birmingham city centre and it was quite an eye opener. It was really moving.

"I decided I'd use my skills in music to bring it to the public's attention and try and make a bit of difference."

Schools and music groups across the region, including Heathfield Knoll, will join professional recitalists on stage to raise money for causes including Leslie's Care Packages in Stourbridge, the Salvation Army and HELP in Kidderminster.

The first concert will take place at King Edward's College in Stourbridge on February 13 from 7pm.

The next event will be March 10 at St John's Church in Hagley, when clarinetist Hollie Whittles will be performing.

All concerts are free to attend, with charity collection buckets welcoming donations on the night.

For more information on upcoming events, visit musicforsanctuary.org.