25th Jan, 2020

Fringe fest boosts charity's coffers

Rob George 13th Sep, 2019

A CHARITY set up in memory of a former Hanley Castle High School student who took his own life on Christmas Eve in 2016 has been boosted with £1,000 from musicians at Upton Jazz Festival’s Fringe Festival.

The Nathan Tomkins Trust was handed the cash following the three-day festival, which took place at The Swan Hotel in Upton-upon-Severn and attracted a record 70 performers from across the country.

Family and friends launched the Trust to raise awareness of mental health issues following the former Upton Rugby Club player’s death after his struggle with depression.

Nathan’s family now run the charity from their family farm and have launched a programme for rural youngsters suffering with mental health issues.

His brother Jack said: “The money will go towards the work we do in the community and our suicide prevention workshops which are actively saving lives.”

Established musicians and up-and-coming stars played alongside dozens of jazz bands in the riverside town for the 34th Upton Jazz Festival.

Hundreds of music fans gathered at the Swan to hear tracks from Upton-born Christian Cox; A Touch of Jazz, who played classics from the Great American Songbook, and Off Stream, who led the Friday night with a rock n’ roll party.

They were joined by Hereford-based Sundown Jazz Society, Welsh singer-songwriter Ron Care and multi award-winning Elizabeth Fields, among others.

Festival marketing manager Jon Parsons said: “We’ll be keeping in touch with everyone who played to support their aspirations and projects.

“The idea was to raise money and their profile, because if one troubled young person took a flyer and made a call for support, if one concerned parent read a flyer and made a call…well you can’t put a value on that,” he added.

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