A SINGER songwriter from York is set to embark on a tour of back gardens later this week - to thanks NHS staff and lockdown heroes for their work during the pandemic.

Last year, Alistair Griffin performed in people’s back gardens and quirky outdoor spaces on his 'Tour of Social Distance' - after gigs across the world were cancelled.

Throughout the lockdown, Alistair also played live sessions on Facebook, performing acoustic sets.

This year, he’s doing the same - but this time, his musical adventure will take him to people who have gone the extra mile during the Covid crisis, as well as giving a lift to those who have been isolating for long periods.

Alistair, who originates from Castleton in North Yorkshire, said: “The pandemic has forced us to do things differently so I’ve invented what I call wild gigging - popping up and playing shows in strange and spectacular places."

On Saturday, he will travel to Scotland to play for care home manager Karen McGuffie, who has worked long hours to protect residents. He will also call into Castle Douglas, to play for 90-year-old Ruby Shaw, as well as playing for key worker Stevie Bell and his wife.

Then back in England, he will play for Covid ward NHS nurses in York, Southport GP Adel Farrel, who has vaccinated thousands of people in the North-west and Sue Dicken, who donated a kidney to a stranger while in lockdown.

Criss-crossing the country, Alistair’s “tour with a twist” will take in several quirky places and landmarks, including pop-up shows at a lighthouse on the North-east coast, an island in the Irish Channel, a lock in the Midlands, a crazy golf course in Leicestershire and a surprise appearance at someone’s birthday.

All of these shows will be broadcast live on Facebook throughout, with fans helping power the tour though the virtual tip jar.

Alistair is also looking for sponsorship to help take the tour a little bit further.

He said: “I’ve had a big response to the tour and would love to take the tour further to play to as many people as possible. So if there’s a business out there who’d like to sponsor it, please drop me a message.”