One reason I got to know the people behind The Forum was in a search of what there was for teens to do around Tunbridge Wells.
Amazingly, two years later, the proposed Youth Centre, lead by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, has not appeared. However, it was reassuring when I chatted to Jason and Richard at The Forum that a charity existed aiming to encourage young people to make music. Here’s what CEO Mark Davyd has to say about Rhythmix: “Rhythmix is one of the UK’s leading music charities, delivering a large range of music making opportunities for young people across the South East region. Since 1999, Rhythmix has worked with more than 45,000 young people, enabling their creative activity through music and developing their personal and social skills, working in hospitals, special care units, secure units, and anywhere where young people face a challenge in their lives and need support.” this is what Stephen fry has to say: “a wonderful, committed and hugely respected music charity”
Rhythmix is one of two charities you can support this year at unfest using a text donate service – text UFST14 £5 to 70070
The other charity is Taylor-Made Dreams. A project driven by the passion of one mother; often you will hear people’s life stories that make you stop and be grateful for what you have, and to try and make the most of every day. Here’s what Suzi said in her press release:
Taylor-Made Dreams is the brain child of Suzi Mitchell from Crowborough set up in memory of her late son Taylor Mitchell who sadly passed on the 2nd September 2011 at the age of 15yrs from the incurable condition Neurofibromatosis. Taylor-Made Dreams vision is to enable children will life limiting illness achieve their dreams when time is short and also provide the families with holistic therapeutic support at this most difficult of times.
Currently Taylor-Made Dreams is working towards charitable status and this aim has been greatly enhanced by the celebrity comic John Bishop who has agreed to be a Patron once the charity is registered.
In 2009 Taylor was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (2009), a condition which created two brain tumours and multiple ones in his spine, our journey began. Taylor’s immediate reaction was to raise money for other children with his condition and raise funds towards research into the illness. In 2009 Taylor raised £11,000 for the NF Association by encouraging his Mum Suzi and 17 others to do a tandem skydive.
Suzi Mitchell says “At around the same time Taylor received his diagnosis the film “The bucket list” was released and we watched it together He told me then if I ever found out that he was dying that I wasn’t to tell him as he “Didn’t want to give up”, I never did but he knew. When it became apparent that Taylor’s prognosis was terminal and his life expectancy was at best two years, together we wrote his own ’Bucket List’ and planned to tick off each one. Friends and family pulled together to enable Taylor to achieve all the adventures he had written in his bucket list”.
With the monies left over from Taylor’s Bucket list the aim is to set up a registered CIO charity called ‘Taylor-Made Dreams’ inspired by and in memory of Taylor.
One of Taylor’s wishes was to meet John Bishop his comic hero which he did in Nottingham at his Sunshine tour in 2010 and it was this meeting that led John to become a Patron.
All money raised will go towards supporting other life limited children and their families in a variety of ways, primarily we want the children to be able to have the opportunity to have a memorable experience they may otherwise miss out on, secondly our holistic therapeutic support will be available to families of the terminally ill child to enable them to access counselling and other therapies, and finally we will offer practical help in the form of a domiciliary service.
To date the local community has been incredibly supportive and we held our first ever fundraising event “The Great Male Wax off” on 14th December which raised valuable funds for our cause; our first TMD family is enjoying the benefits of our fundraising campaign at the end of May by going on a family holiday to the South of France. The Wax Off was the first of many events and fundraising activities that have been and are planned over the coming year, the next being a DJ House event at the Forum Tunbridge Wells on Saturday the 21st of June with Grizzlie B, Mr Mooch and Galactagus Jack setting the decks on FIRE!. Contact Tunbridge Wells Forum for tickets or pay on arrival – £5 on door. Then the day after we have a 25 a side Cricket match on Southborough Green on Sunday the 22nd of June with a BBQ, beer tent and cake sale…..why not come along and support us?!
For more information please contact us at:
Follow us on Twitter @Taysbucket
Find us on Facebook at Taylor-Made Dreams
Instagram at thetmdteam
at the Bedford pub, Acoustic Valium Project will be hosting two days (Saturday and Sunday) of local acts, collecting money for The Toby Littlechild Memorial Fund for Sands. Again a very personal charity, for the nephew of AVP organiser Dan Littlechild. Sands supports anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby before, during, or shortly after birth.
So, if you do get a chance to visit any of the free things on at unfest, please try and donate to help these charities help other people. – See more at: https://www.uk-sands.org/support#sthash.lb7XVfLA.dpuf