The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC, Polish Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy, WOŚP) is the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organization in Poland. … The GOCC foundation organizes the biggest open-air free entry music festival in Europe – Pol’and’Rock Festival.

The name The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity was coined by Jerzy Owsiak in 1993. The charity was officially founded in 1993 by Jerzy Owsiak, Lidia Niedźwiedzka-Owsiak, Bohdan Maruszewski, and Piotr Burczyński. The main objective, at that time, was “Protecting Health and Saving Children’s Lives by Providing Medical Equipment to Public Hospitals” (as stated in the deed of foundation). During the first Finale (which was organized for the benefit of paediatric cardiac-surgery) in the same year, the Foundation collected a total of USD 1,535,440.68. Subsequently, what was intended to be one-time fundraiser to aid Children’s Memorial Health Institute in Warsaw became an annual public fundraiser held across the country. In 2004 the GOCC raised money for the victims of tsunami in Sri Lanka. In 2010, after southern Poland has been struck by flooding a special fundraiser was held in aid of flood relief.

Every year, millions of Poles donate to the Foundation and throughout 24 Grand Finales, the Foundation collected over $130 million for cardiac-surgeryneonatology, paediatric oncologykidney diseases, congenital disorders, newborns and children under 5 years of age who have been victims of accidents . Since 2013 the GOCC has been raising funds to support geriatric and long-term care units in Poland.

Thia year the Orchestra has arrived to Plymouth and we were honoured to be a part of this wonderful event. This does give me hope that humanity can be a commonwealth and do someting together, selflesly to aid a bigger cause.

We have raised nearly £15,000 in Plymouth only, over that one Sunday and managed to have some fun as well 🙂 I have got a feeling, that this will become an annual thing 💓