Yoko Ono’s ‘astonishingly generous’ John Lennon-themed gift leaves charity ‘bowled over’

John Lennon: Son Julian discusses Yoko Ono in 1999

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Yoko Ono, 88, has begun spreading Christmas cheer as she chose a unique gift for a Liverpool charity. The artist and peace activist gave The Brain Charity a limited edition vinyl acetate of the track Happy Xmas (War is Over).

The rare 1971 record features her and her late husband, the legendary Beatles member John Lennon.

It was hand-cut at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles used to spend long hours during their musical career.

But the one-sided 12” acetate was not the only special present the charity received from Yoko and John’s family.

It was accompanied by a personal message from Sean Ono Lennon, the iconic couple’s son.

The note read: “Happy Xmas.

“This is one of only fifty Limited Edition acetates hand-cut at Abbey Road, it’s yours – to sell, auction, raise money to help your business or your favourite charity or to fund your Xmas party – to spread Xmas cheer.

“We’d love to see the journey these acetates take, and the goodwill that they spread.”

The thoughtful gesture left staff at the charity surprised and “hugely moved”.

Nanette Mellor, CEO of The Brain Charity, expressed her joy over the ways the unique gift could change lives.

She explained that the vinyl would be sold in order to raise funds to help those who are struggling.

Nanette told the BBC: “We feel absolutely bowled over by this astonishingly generous surprise Christmas gift from Yoko and Sean.

“The recognition that they thought about us in Liverpool and at this time of year, when our clients really need us, was unbelievable.

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“It’s such a lovely gesture to be recognised by a family who are globally iconic.

“We are all hugely moved.

“Any funds raised from the sale of this incredible item will be absolutely needed right now as our clients with neurological conditions do really struggle at this time of year.”

Another 49 copies of the vinyl have been sent to areas including Belfast, Birkenhead, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Newcastle.

Each copy includes Yoko’s machine printed signature.

Tamara Schlesinger, founder of Hen Hoose, an all-female songwriting project in Glasgow, admitted she was “overwhelmed and honoured” to be given one of the exclusive records.

She added: “I can’t wait to see what good we can do with the funds that we raise.”

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) was released in 1972 in the UK.

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