Colourful radio host gives a helping hand to Sheffield's Bluebell Wood Hospice
Multi-talented radio host Reverend Andrew Platts - whose journey has even included an appearance on Top of the Pops - has turned his attention to the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice based in Sheffield.
Growing up in a musical household, in High Green, Sheffield, Andrew followed generations before him by joining the Chapeltown Brass Band.
He eventually became a professional musician and spent his late teens and early twenties touring with Jimmy James and the Vagabonds where he played the trombone as well as keyboard and vocals.
His music career soon took off, which saw him rise to fame and receive the opportunity to appear on Top of the Pops as well as playing sold out venues up and down the country.
In 1980 Andrew got married and then took a different path by going to work as a senior manager for a large UK PLC.
He went on to launch his own firm, a chemical business called Amity, in 1990.
The firm was interested in looking for greener chemical alternatives, and even w orked with the Industrial Development arm of the United Nations.
After working in the chemical industry for 25 years, the former businessman set up his own record label which led to his classical theatre ensemble, Harlequin Brass, being awarded Classical FM CD of the year.
The critical acclaim did not equate to commercial success, but Andrew had no qualms with what he described as a “financial disaster”.
“I got into it purely for the enjoyment,” he said.
Andrew’s ecclesiastical journey began in 2012, following the death of his mum.
A small inheritance allowed him the freedom to retrain, and just over three years later he was officially ordained.
“I’ve always been this way minded,” he said. “I was a chorister as a boy and it’s always stuck with me so I felt it was the right time to do it.”
As well as helming hundreds of services, weddings and funerals, Andrew now hosts a show on BBC Radio Sheffield once a month.
Today Andrew, aged 63 and from Elsecar, Barnsley, is plugging into his past and his lifelong passion for music as a volunteer at Bluebell Wood’s youth group for those aged between 14 and 25.
The married dad-of-two said: “Originally discussions were centered on me forming a pastoral role of some description.
“But then I became involved in the youth group.
!I’m open to use my pastoral experience if that’s what people want – but I’m not here to convert anyone. Just to chat and share my experiences and to have some fun.”
“My overall impression of Bluebell Wood is what a happy place it is, so full of joy and fun” said Andrew.”
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