Much-loved mother of two Ruth Merriman had a dream before she died – for her friends and family to record her favourite song to help raise funds for her beloved charity.

In July 2018, Ruth was training to be an advocate for teenagers in Merton and Sutton with Jigsaw4U when she was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Unfortunately, the treatments were no longer working, and on March 9, she sadly passed away.

But already her hopes have turned into a magical reality.

Ruth’s idea saw schools, choirs, musicians and dance groups take part in a project that quickly smashed Ruth and husband John’s hoped-for target of £3,000 within just two days of her tragic death.

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Once Ruth had announced her wish to recreate ‘Hold On Change Is Coming’ (originally recorded by Sounds Of Blackness in 1997), music studio owner and producer John quickly jumped into action.

He first set up a Justgiving page, promising donors an exclusive preview of the track ahead of its release, and then he got to work, with much of the new recording taking place at the multi-award-winning family business, Crown Lane Studio.

Meanwhile, without John realising, Sutton Dance Academy, of which younger son Asher is a member, heard about the project and secretly choreographed, rehearsed and filmed a stunning dance to complement the song.

“Only five days after their mummy had died, Asher was dancing again and both he and Nathan were drumming their hearts out," John said.

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"But this time in honour of their wonderful mum and to help raise funds for a charity close to our hearts.

“Out of something so tragic has come something so very beautiful that will impact thousands of people.

"I just wish Ruth were here to enjoy this – she would be as amazed as I am at everyone’s creativity and generosity.”

The project involved staff and 400 pupils from Ruth and John’s sons’ school, Hillcross Primary, with the support of choir Inner Harmony of which Ruth was a founding member.

The new version of this, song along with a video, will be released on Monday, March 25, to coincide with Ruth’s funeral on what would have been her 39th birthday.

To view the Justgiving page, click here.