Cockwood's first ever Shanty Festival offered to raise money for a range of charities including The Helen Foundation. The idea started out as a magnificently generous wish from the organisers to bring joy to their community - for free. They said:
"After the past few years, and with the cost of living affecting everyone, our aim is to bring the shanty-loving community together for a weekend of fabulous free fun. The festival is entirely FREE to attend, all generously provided by and supported by local pubs and the shanty crews coming to visit. As such - your best way to support the festival is by spending money in our pubs and village venues, and by popping a donation in our collection buckets. We will be collecting throughout the weekend to raise funds split between local charities and next year's 2024 festival.
Let’s hope this first-year festival is a great success and generosity this year will support future festivals."
This was such a joyful weekend! THF trustees attended a session in Cockwood Village Hall where they joined a very full and happy crowd of people in the village hall who were generously applauding the musicians, and taking part with gusto when invited. There was a terrific range of music presented by a wide range of singers from across the country.
Roger and Annie Kirk said:
"After the event, we were astonished to hear that £500 was on its way to THF. This remarkable news coincided with an application to THF from Cockwood School to support a music workshop in the school later in the summer. The school wishes to book musician Becki Driscoll to run a workshop in June, which will be fully funded by The Helen Foundation. The school's application says:
"Becki will lead a folk music workshop, to include singing, song writing, dancing, learning traditional tunes and exploring instruments such as: violins, guitars, ukuleles, penny whistles, Appalachian dulcimers, squeezeboxes and some percussion.” It should be a really special experience for the children.
So it looks like The Shanty Festival fund-raising is going to remain in the village and bring more joy - this time to local young people!"