Lytham Festival is to have five charity partners this year - including a cause in memory of a Fylde youngster.
Meningitis Now, a national charity, has attracted dedicated fund-raising locally through the Edward Dee Forever Fund since the death from the disease last December of 10-year-old Edward, a pupil of Clifton Primary School in St Annes.
More than £26,000 has already been raised in Edward’s name in just five months.
Along with three Fylde coast causes – Brian House children’s hospice, Blackpool Carers and youth work charity Streetlife - and the national Teenage Cancer Trust, Meningitis Now has been chosen to be a beneficiary of this summer’s Festival.
Promoters Cuffe and Taylor hope to attract around 100,000 people to Lytham for the seven-day event, which runs from Monday, July 31 to Sunday, August 6 – and rather than work with just one charity partner, they have decided to spotlight five this year in a bid to help each charity raise as much as possible.
Edward’s mum Elizabeth Dee said: “It is brilliant that we have been chosen as a beneficiary of the Festival.
“The community has really rallied round wonderfully to help us raise money in Edward’s name and the Festival is a marvellous event at the heart of the community right here on home ground but with national appeal.
“Along with raising money it is all about increasing awareness of the charity and all the good work it does and this is the perfect way to do that.”
Roya Armstrong, North of England community fundraiser for Meningitis Now, added: “Meningitis Now is thrilled to be one of the partner charities for this year’s Lytham festival.
“This is even more poignant to us, after local boy Edward Dee sadly died in December after contracting the disease.
“We are dedicated to raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of meningitis, and we will continue to support families like Edward’s through the kind donations we receive.”
Meningitis Now will be charity partner for the West End Proms evening which will close the Festival on Sunday, August 6.
Ahead of that, the Teenage Cancer Trust will be partner for Olly Murs’ performance on Wednesday August 2, Streetlife for Haçienda Classical on Thursday 3, Blackpool Carers for 80s V 90s on Friday 4 and Brian House for the show headlined by Madness on Saturday, August 5.
Lytham Festival director Peter Taylor said: “It is very exciting to welcome five charity partners to be part of Lytham Festival 2017.
“Historically our audiences at Lytham Festival have been very generous making donations to our chosen charity partner and this year we decided we would like to reach out to more charities to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from these donations.
“We have selected different nights for each charity to be involved with and by doing so we have partnered the charities with the headline acts where we believe the audiences will relate to their fundraising best.
“I hope all five charities have a really successful Lytham Festival and we look forward to working with them.”
An army of charity volunteers will be evident throughout the Main Proms Arena on Lytham Green for each headline event in the hope of encouraging festival-goers to donate.
Brian House is part of Bispham-based Trinity Hospice, which has been the charity partner for the last two Lytham Festival, each of which officials say have raised about £21,000 for the hospice.
Michelle Lonican, community fundraiser for Brian House children’s hospice, said: “Lytham Festival is a vibrant community event that brings so much to the Fylde Coast, so it’s a real pleasure to be involved again and a wonderful opportunity to raise Brian House’s profile – and some funds – during its 21st birthday year.”
“We hope visitors are generous over the five nights on The Green – we know from experience that being a volunteer is hard work (as well as being a bit of fun).”
Streetlife chief executive Jane Hugo said: “Streetlife is absolutely thrilled to be a charity partner for the Lytham Festival.
“This is an amazing opportunity to raise awareness about youth homelessness and the support Streetlife can offer to vulnerable young people across the Fylde coast.”
Faye Atherton, head of services at Blackpool Carers, said: “Blackpool Carers Centre is thrilled to be a charity partner of the prestigious Lytham Festival. This event is a great opportunity to highlight and celebrate the selfless work of unpaid family carers.”
Vanessa Simmons, North West regional fundraising manager at the Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “We are hugely grateful to be one of the Lytham Festival’s chosen charity partners. The money raised will help us with our ambitious goal to reach every young person with cancer in the UK.”
For more details and to buy tickets for Lytham Festival 2017 go to www.lythamfestival.com