Ash guitarist Mark’s charity comes with no strings attached

Ash guitarist Mark’s charity comes with no strings attached

5 June 2019

A DOWNPATRICK musician has raised £1,200 for a local cancer charity by selling recycled guitar strings which he turns into customised angel bracelets.

Mark Hamilton, bass player with rock band Ash, is supporting Cancer Focus NI because his mum, Miriam, is battling breast cancer for a third time. 

The charity, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, aims to raise £100k to fund pioneering local breast cancer research at Queen’s University Belfast from a series of fundraising events.

Mark said: “Huge thanks to anyone who bought one of the first guitar angels. We raised £1,200 with the first 50 mementos of the band’s concerts. We sold and plan to do something even more special with the next bunch.” 

“Making the bracelets is kind of a team effort. The strings are authentic, played at Ash shows. I change them every day on tour and keep them as they’re used.

“Previously the strings were tossed away, and would have ended up in landfill. It’s good to know they can now have a purpose beyond the stage.”

Mark weaves the strings into a bracelet and his dad Neil solders them together. 

Mark’s mum, Miriam, is one of the founder members of the Cancer Focus NI support group and has been a member for nearly 30 years, supporting other women who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. 

She said: “Mark has been saving his guitar strings and the band did a big tour last summer. He told me he was going to make the bracelets and said he would donate the proceeds Cancer Focus NI.”

“The charity has given me fantastic support over the years and I have made many friends who were going through tough times. 

“Cancer Focus NI is also raising £100k for breast cancer research at Queen’s University to mark its 50th birthday. It’s only because vital research like this that survival rates are so good nowadays. 

“I share the charity’s vision to see a day when cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease.”

She added: “If you would like to help raise money for research, why not sign up for the Cancer Focus NI Cheers to 50 Years campaign and ask for donations instead of gifts on your birthday this year – visit”

Anyone with any concerns about cancer can call the charity’s free information and support NurseLine on 0800 783 3339.