Organisers of a new Nantwich food and drink event have pledged their support to two much-needed Cheshire charities as plans for their summer crowd-puller gather pace.
The eagerly-anticipated Dorfold Food and Drink Festival, taking place July 23-24, has thrown its weight behind mental health charity Mind and Nantwich Food Bank, each providing vital services to a growing number of individuals and families in need.
Since being founded in Leeds six years ago the festival series, which now includes dates in Manchester, Ilkley and Harrogate, has raised more than £45,000 for local Mind branches and organisers hope to pour thousands more into the coffers following the new Nantwich event.
Money raised through ticket donations and car-park collections will support Cheshire’s local Mind branch in which runs a charity shop on Dingle Walk in Winsford and drop in centre on the town’s Dene Drive for people who are currently experiencing mental health problems.
Festival founder Michael Johnston said: “The pandemic has shone the spotlight on the need to support mental health as much as physical health.
“Our festival-goers have been happy to help us support this under-funded area of the NHS by making donations as they book their tickets.
“We also give free stand space to charity volunteers to raise profile and collect at each event. Face painting and raffles for Mind have become a familiar sight over the years and we hope the same for Nantwich.
“With the cost of living now at crisis point for millions of families, we also plan to do what we can to ease things in our event areas by becoming food bank collection points, beginning in Nantwich.
“Nantwich is a lovely town fairly affluent on the face of it but we understand every town has pockets of deprivation and we are making ourselves a donation hub for Nantwich Food Bank over festival weekend.
“We hope many people will come along with their food donations and we will make sure they go swiftly to the charity that does such good work in Nantwich and surrounds.”
Mid Cheshire Mind general manager Carol Halpin said: “We have been supporting more people than usual in our main locality of Winsford, Northwich and Middlewich but have also extended our services to Nantwich, Crewe and as far as Macclesfield to ensure that people get help before they reach crisis point.
“Mental health services are now more stretched than ever, and this is expected to increase even further over the next three to five years. This is why The Dorfold Food and Drink Festival is so important – please go along, take the family and definitely have fun! But also know that by supporting the festival you are supporting people with mental health problems and that is something to be proud of.”
Meanwhile plans for the festival entertainment menu are growing. It will strike a chord with music-lovers with a full programme of pop, soul, jazz and more, with original songs and popular covers being performed live all weekend.
Artists include the rock and country band Broken Flowers, known for their creative original songwriting, and Zimbabwean-Irish singer songwriter Pearl Natasha, with powerful lyrics and unique performances that have seen her perform around the world.
Nationally acclaimed slidebox guitarist Howlin’ Matt will also take to the stage, using his trademark cigar box guitar to tell incredible stories through blues music.
Visitors can feast on a diverse selection of the UK’s best international street food and delicious treats from an artisan market of more than 60 independent traders and businesses.
Attractions also include interactive street performances, live cookery demonstrations from professional chefs and children’s activities.
The festival will have a chilled vibe with deck chairs available free of charge to sit back and soak up the scenery. More music artists are set to be announced soon.
Information and discounted festival tickets available now from the website: https://dorfoldfoodfestival.com/