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Cash boost for Spalding’s first disability music festival

A Lotto thanks: Photo (TIM WILSON): SG080318-118TW
A Lotto thanks: Photo (TIM WILSON): SG080318-118TW

Planning for Spalding’s first ever music festival for people with physical and learning disabilities is going full steam ahead thanks to a new lottery grant.

The organising team for the Going Forward Music Festival, to be held at the Priory School on July 28, put in a bid for National Lottery funding before Christmas.

Reece Taylor, who is walking the Humber Bridge to help raise funds for the festival. Pictured with mum Ellie. (SG080318-123TW)
Reece Taylor, who is walking the Humber Bridge to help raise funds for the festival. Pictured with mum Ellie. (SG080318-123TW)

And they were thrilled to receive the news that they have been awarded £9,550 to help stage the event.

Alyson Commons, who came up with the idea to hold the festival with friend Rita Stacey, said: “The funding will help to cover the cost of a marquee, the stages, toilets and a Mobiloo, which has a hoist for accessibility to people in wheelchairs.

“It’ll also help us cover the cost of the bands and support acts, first aid cover and the sound and lighting. We’ll be providing hi vis vests for our volunteers and it has meant that we can have it as a free event, which is what we always wanted.

“We also have all our main acts booked who include Lauren Porter, Matty Haynes, Crossfire and Honey Sours amongst others. Lauren is from Holbeach and the others are from the Boston area.”

The funding will help to cover costs and it means we can have it as a free event, which is what we always wanted
Alyson Commons, who is co-organising the music festival

Alyson and Rita, along with Samantha Harley-Pesce, set up the Going Forward Social Group in 2016 for young adults with disabilities after county council funding cuts.

The group meets at Tonic Health in Westlode Street, Spalding.

And members from the group will themselves be performing at the festival, as they have set up their own junk band and are busy making instruments.

But fundraising is not stopping there and the team has plenty more events in the pipeline to help boost cash for the festival.

Committee member Ellie Taylor is holding a tabletop sale on April 14 and 15 at Holbeach Community Centre from 10am.

And Elizabeth Squire is selling quiz sheets and hosting a quiz night at Morton Village Hall on May 18 at 7.30pm.

○ Reece Taylor (18) is just one of the young adults who has got so much out of the Going Forward Social Group that meets in Spalding.

And when he heard about the plans to hold a music festival he wanted to do his bit to make it happen.

His mum Ellie said: “He has decided to walk over the Humber Bridge, both ways, to raise money for the festival.

“He chose the bridge because it is a set distance - it is about two miles.”

Reece has autism, which was diagnosed when he was 15-years-old, and his mum said he battled with discrimination growing up.

“He hasn’t been going to the (Going Forward) group that long but he has really settled in and he is able to be himself.

“It has become a bit of a lifeline.”

Reece, from Whaplode St Catherine, spent time at the Priory School in Spalding and is now studying at Peterborough College in inclusive learning.

Ellie added: “I’ll be going to the Humber Bridge with him and his dad Ady will be driving but he’ll be walking on his own.

“He also wants to video it on Facebook Live.

“So far he’s raised over £150.”

The idea behind the music festival that Reece is walking for, is to provide an event that can be enjoyed by people of all ages with learning disabilities and physical disabilities.

It is the aim that the festival will be an outdoors event, with a marquee available in case it rains or to provide shade from the sun.

Free stalls are available for charities or organisations on the day.

○ For more information about the festival, or to pledge money towards the event or Reece’s challenge, go to the Going Forward Music Festival 2018 or Going Forward Social Group Facebook pages.


Spalding to stage disability festival

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