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All those at Beulieu House in Newport were determined the show must go on despite the cancellation of this year’s Isle of Wight Festival.

The annual music festival is among the year’s highlights for Beaulieu staff and clients so news of its cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic was met with great disappointment. But not to be downhearted for long, the Beaulieu community came up with its own solution – The Beaulieu House Mini-Fest.

Senior care assistant Tanya Moorton took centre stage in organising the event and the rest of the Beaulieu community quickly rallied round.

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Soon, a mountain of materials and equipment including paint, pop-up tents, bouncy castles, outdoor festival games, decorations and musical equipment was forthcoming and the scene was set for the festival within Beaulieu’s grounds on the outskirts of Newport.

Also key to creating the vibe was carer and artist Claire Rees as well as Trustee Tony Wake who with the help of friends and contacts provided additional equipment, refreshments and some funky fancy dress costumes including the Beaulieu Bee.

Tony said:

“The children and young people, some of who have their own health issues which make them particularly vulnerable, have been greatly affected by lockdown and not being able to lead their normal lives.

“They really enjoy the IW Festival which is also a great fundraiser for our charity so there was a lot of disappointment that it was necessary to cancel this year’s event.

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“But the way the Beaulieu community rallied around the mini-festival idea was really wonderful.

“The event was a great success and the kids loved it – as did the adults. It was a fabulous day and has got everyone especially looking forward to the real thing next year.”

Tanya said:

“It was a real team effort but so worthwhile as the children had such a great time. The event reminded us just how lucky we are at Beaulieu to have the backing of such a dedicated group of supporters and volunteers.”

Isle of Wight Festival promoter John Giddings said:

“We were thrilled that Beaulieu took the inspiration from the festival and organised such a successful mini event in our absence this year.  We look forward to seeing them all again in 2021 when the event returns for what promises to be one of the best ever.”

Beaulieu House is a disabled children’s home and overnight respite centre. Many of the children and young people have severe and challenging disabilities and behaviours. The home is a council-run facility but relies on volunteers and charitable donations, primarily through the Beaulieu Respite charity, to provide other leisure and social activities and also some equipment.

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