We’re delighted to have been chosen as one of the charity partners for this year’s Lytham Festival, the North West’s biggest live music festival.
Festival organisers have chosen to support the Edward Dee Forever Fund, set up by Edward’s family following his death from meningitis last December, at only 10 years old.
Since then Edward’s family, friends and the wider community have raised nearly £30,000 through the Edward Dee Forever Fund to support Meningitis Now’s ongoing work.
Money has been raised through various sponsored events, such as Tough Mudder, London Marathon, Half Marathon etc, which both children and adults alike have been inspired to do in Edward’s memory; events such as “The Time 4 Tea for Edward”, a large scale Tea Party; the Scouts’ Danceathon; and the Junior Parkrun, in memory of Edward have raised an enormous amount of money.
So many organisations in the community have organised or have planned to organise future fundraising events. Edward’s school are holding a whole school Triathlon Event in his memory; The Stage I swimming event having already taken place, with the cycling and running stages still to follow. The “orange beacon” collecting boxes, the orange wristbands, and the Forget me Not Pin Badges are all around the local area, and again are bringing in lots of funds, whilst raising awareness of meningitis. The Fund has also been chosen by Dobbies Garden Centre as its Local Charity of the Year.
Big part of the local community
“Edward was such a big part of the local community,” mum Elizabeth said. “He knew so many people and did so many things.”
“He was a member of St Annes Swimming club, he was a rookie lifeguard, he went to a local primary school and played a massive part in the Cub Scouts.”
“He played tennis, football and entered many triathlons. He played the cornet for Lancashire Orchestra.”
“He was a funny, witty, friendly and popular boy; a larger than life boy who lived life to the full and inspired both children and adults.”
Devastated, but determined
“Edward has left a huge void in our lives which can never be filled. We miss him more than words can say. We, and the community we live in are devastated by his loss and are determined to make something positive come out of Edward’s death, working really hard to raise funds and raise awareness of this dreadful disease.”
The Lytham Festival hopes to attract around 100,000 people to Lancashire’s Fylde Coast for the seven-day event, taking place from Monday 31 July to Sunday 6 August. Among the artists performing will be Olly Murs, Madness, Human League, Midge Ure and Dodgy.
The Edward Dee Forever Fund and Meningitis Now will be the charity partner for the West End Proms, which feature as the festival’s climax concert on Sunday 6 August.
“I’m so pleased that The Edward Dee Forever Fund for Meningitis Now has been chosen as a charity partner for the Lytham Festival. For a community hurting from the loss of Edward, to be a part of such a big event held in the area is quite special. Not only will this raise vital funds for the charity, but will reach a huge audience outside the local area, and raise awareness of meningitis with many more people.”
Fitting way to celebrate Edward’s life
“Being associated with the Festival is a very fitting way to celebrate Edward’s life and achievements; I’m so grateful to the organisers for giving us this opportunity to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis and to raise much needed funds.”
Volunteers, many of whom will be made up from friends in the community, will join Elizabeth and her family at the event to hand out signs and symptoms cards, and collect monetary donations.
Beth Bottrill, Meningitis Now fundraising director, said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who is supporting the family, and indeed The Edward Dee Forever Fund.
“Thanks to the family’s determination and hard work we will be able to reach even more people and make a bigger impact on this devastating disease.”
Lytham Festival director Peter Taylor added: “Audiences at Lytham Festival have historically been very generous in making donations.”
“This year we decided we would like to reach out to more charities and selected different nights for each charity to be involved with.”
Alongside The Edward Dee Forever Fund and Meningitis Now, the charities to benefit are a mix of local and national organisations and include the Teenage Cancer Trust, Streetlife, Blackpool Carers and Brian House Children’s Hospice.
For more details and to buy tickets for Lytham Festival 2017 visit www.lythamfestival.com