Schoolgirl Eva replaces Melton singing star’s stolen guitars with £2,500 fundraising drive

Howard Rose with Eva Finnemore (12), who launched a fundraising campaign to replace his stolen guitars, and Icon Music owner Tom Griggs, who loaned and donated instruments to Howard EMN-170611-105141001

A 12-year-old girl has been thanked by Melton singing star Howard Rose after she helped raise £2,500 to replace treasured guitars and music equipment he lost in a van burglary.

Howard was left heartbroken in September after the raid, which deprived him of four guitars, including two he performed with when he reached the final of top TV talent contest, The Voice, in 2015.

Howard Rose with Eva Finnemore (12), who launched a fundraising campaign to replace his stolen guitars EMN-170611-105152001

Eva Finnemore, a talented young singer-songwriter who has lessons with Howard, decided she had to do something to help after she heard he wasn’t insured.

She launched an online fundraising page and even raised £65 busking during the Melton Teenage Market.

The fund was topped up by donations at a special gig he put on at the Noel’s Arms pub last month.

Eva told the Melton Times: “Music means the world to Howard and he is such a talented musician.

Howard Rose with Eva Finnemore (12), who launched a fundraising campaign to replace his stolen guitars EMN-170611-105130001

“After the burglary he was just broken - he was so down.

“I wanted to help him because Howard has always been there for me and I wanted to be there for him.

“The response to the fundraising has been amazing - I never expected to raise as much as we did.”

Her mum Melanie said: “This was entirely Eva’s idea - she just said ‘we should do some crowdfunding to help Howard’.

“People have been so generous and now Howard has got new guitars and replaced his kit it restores your faith in humanity.”

Howard, who has been teaching Eva for 18 months, said: “It was a really nice gesture by Eva to set up the fundraising page and people have been so generous.

“The support from everyone has been really heart-warming and humbling.”

The burglary happened while Howard was staying overnight in London - the raiders took a bass guitar, two electric guitars and acoustic guitar plus several pieces of equipment he uses for gigs.

He said he has now fixed two padlocks to the van and a sign stating nothing is left inside the vehicle at night.

Howard is indebted to the support he has received from the Icon Music shop in Melton.

Owner Tom Griggs, who has been a friend for 20 years, loaned him instruments and equipment so he could continue gigging immediately after the burglary. He also sourced replacement guitars and accessories at cost price.

Tom said: “I lent him some gear while he was trying to sort things out and Eva was raising money and we also donated some stuff.

“We sourced equipment like a mixer desk and an amplifier for an acoustic guitar.”

“I’m a drummer myself and if I lost my drums I would be gutted but they can be replaced.

“When you play the guitar it’s a really personal relationship with the instrument.

“If you are a genuine artist as Howard is the guitar has real sentimental value because of this close relationship you have with it.”

Working on new record which is likely to be out early in the new year.

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