BLACK Country artists will be giving up their services for free to take to the stage in a charity music festival at Brierley Hill Civic Hall.

Stourbridge blues and roots star Ian Parker will be headlining the Banger II event which will take place on Friday January 24, from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.

Black Country Radio's Gary James, presenter of the Omma N Chain radio show, and members of the band Rumour are the driving forces behind the fundraising event which is being organised for the second year running and which this year will see money raised for the diabetes unit at Russells Hall Hospital.

Gary said: "Every year the Omma N Chain decides on a main charity to focus on to raise funds and help.

"This year, after visits and meeting with staff and consultants at Russells Hall Hospital diabetes unit, our charity was sealed.

"They explained they have been trying to get a sophisticated camera that takes images of ulcers (usually legs) of individuals with severe diabetes.

"The NHS would not purchase one although several attempts had been made."

He said the camera, priced around £6,500, would enable images to be taken in the community which would free up the department for other appointments. It would also prevent elderly people from having to make traumatic journeys to hospital to have update photographs taken.

Fundraising events, which have included busking sessions in the hospital foyer, have been taking place throughout the year - and to date more than £5,000 has been raised.

The Civic event will be the final fundraiser after which the money will be handed over.

Gary said: "We have a fantastic bill and so many people have given up time and talent. It becomes more than the money but proof of how communities can work together to help benefit those less fortunate."

Tickets for the event cost £10 in advance or £12.50 on the doors which open at 7pm.