CELEBRATED classical singer Carly Paoli has a special reason for singing her heart out at a Christmas concert to raise money for the Stroke Association.

Mis Paoli, who moved to Worton, near Devizes, last year vividly remembers the day her grandfather suffered a stroke.

She said: “ I was a teenager and he was on his way to watch one of my first performances in concert. That evening changed the lives of both my grandparents and subsequently all of the family.

“It’s an illness that can rob you of your independence and identity so quickly. I am thrilled and honoured to perform for such an important cause and I hope that in our coming together to celebrate Christmas through music, we can support stroke victims and help change their lives for the better.”

The singer, who has performed all over the world and has just released a new Christmas single, will appear at Marlborough College Chapel at 7pm on December 19 for A Celebration Of Christmas concert which is being supported by the Gazette & Herald.

Also taking part in the evening will be TV presenter Chris Tarrant best known for his role as host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

The evening which is supported by royal patron the duke of Kent will also include a performances by soloist Tom Elwes from Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum.

The Marlborough Stroke Association Christmas Choir will perform under choirmaster Adam Staines, alongside the Pinewood School Chapel Choir under director of music Niki Bell.

Mr Tarrant and best-selling poet Charly Cox will read a lesson, and stroke survivor Martin Stephen will give an address along with Juliet Bouverie the chief executive of the charity.

Guests will be invited to arrive from 6pm to enjoy music from the Aldbourne Brass Band and festive refreshments provided by Marlborough College Summer School.

The chapel will be adorned with spectacular decorations provided by OKA and sparkling trees from Twilight Trees.

Rachel Inglefield, chair of A Celebration of Christmas said: “I know first-hand the devastating impact that stroke brings to individuals and their families as I had a stroke just seven years ago - eleven days after the birth of my son.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this magical event to Marlborough and have been overwhelmed by the support of local businesses, from Marlborough College Summer School who are providing the food, to Copy Colour who are printing our material, OKA who are decorating the outside of the chapel, and Twilight Trees who are bringing some Christmas sparkle with their magical LED trees.”

Tickets costing £20 are available from www.celebrationofchristmas.co.uk. and from White Horse Bookshop, High Street, Marlborough.

All money from ticket sales will go to the Stroke Association’s work in Wiltshire thanks to sponsors who include lead sponsor Cazenove Capital.

Tom Allen head of the Oxford office at Cazenove Capital said: “We are delighted to be the lead sponsor for the inaugural ‘A Celebration of Christmas’ carol service. We know that the Stroke Association relies on the financial and voluntary support of businesses and individuals, and so we are proud to be supporting them in their vital work rebuilding lives after stroke.”

Other supporters include: Aldbourne Nursing Home, Aldbourne Post Office Café and Deli, Arbonne, Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors, Barbury Shooting School, Barnes Coaches, Carter Lauren Construction, Chris Jelf Photography, Copy Colour, Earthline, Gazette & Herald, Haine and Smith Opticians, Hiscox, Kidson-Trigg Auctioneers, Knight Frank, Lawson Johnston Property, Local Uncovered, Marlborough College, Marlborough College Summer School, Mojo & McCoy, Moss Fallon, MyAppleJuice, Natural Animal Feeds, NFU Mutual, OKA, Pinewood School, Pinos Restaurant, Ramsbury Electrical, Redrow Homes, Savernake Teenagers Christmas Disco, Savernake Dental, Savills, Susie Watson, the James Dyson Foundation, Twilight Trees, Vivid Audio Visual, Waitrose, Weatherbys Hamilton, the White Horse Bookshop, and Wiltshire Liqueur.

Amy Spencer from the Stroke Association, said: “Every five minutes, stroke destroys lives.”