A YORK songwriter is backing a fundraiser for a charity which helps people with a terminal illness write and record their own original songs for loved ones.

York musician Holly Taymar joined The Swan Song project as an associate songwriter last year and has been busy helping people write their music.

The charity, based in Leeds and working across Yorkshire, wants to raise £50,000 to mark its fifth birthday - and invest in its unique, free-of-charge song-writing support service.

The cause helps people who are facing the end stages of their lives write and record their own songs - and also helps people dealing with bereavement to write songs about those they have lost.

Holly said: "I'm so honoured to be part of the Swan Song Project and would love people to support its birthday fundraiser in any way they can, to help keep this small charity going and making such a difference to people’s lives through music and song.

“The process of song writing has always helped me to pause, reflect and make sense of the world, and it is a privilege to work with people either facing the end of their lives or dealing with bereavement to write their own songs too.

“I believe the process of writing a song can help people come to terms with life, death and loss, it can help them express what they feel and what they want to say.

York Press: Holly Taymar from YorkHolly Taymar from York (Image: UGC)

“Creating the original music and lyrics for each swan song is entirely collaborative, I don’t write a song for people, we very much write a song together. It is a positive, relaxed and supportive process and can be very therapeutic – and fun too.”

Founded by songwriter Ben Buddy Slack in 2017, the small charity has grown steadily over five years and helped more than 100 people write their own swan songs. Due to rapidly increased demand last year, seven new songwriters were brought in - and its fifth birthday fundraiser has been launched to help it enable more people to celebrate life in a song.

The Swan Song Project now has songwriters based in Leeds, Sheffield and York and its HQ has recently been moved out of Ben’s garage to the Old Chapel Studios in Leeds.

Creative director Ben said: “The Swan Song Project believes that everyone has a song in them and that those songs deserve to be sung and heard.

“Our ultimate vision is to see the idea of people writing songs at the end of their lives and songs in memory of loved ones become part of everyday culture. We want to ensure everyone who wants to, is given the support they need to do this.”

Further details on the charity's work can be found on its website.