I had only ever intended to do it once, as much a distraction from my own grief as a support to other people, but so many people, Tom’s parents particularly, wanted it to continue. Wanted something positive. Wanted it to act as a support to others in similar positions. We wanted to bring people together to a space to say “you are not alone”. We wanted to show that mental health matters, and we care about it. We care about you. This year I have had a committee of people working with me and supporting me, some of whom didn’t even know Tom but believe in what we are trying to do.
What’s happening this year:
This year we asked for suggestions of charities that people would like to see supported by Holiofest and then put them to the vote. The Wave Project came out overwhelmingly on top. (Tom had used physical activities such as rock climbing and diving in support of his mental health. He actually achieved his Dive Masters not long before his death).
As last year, all of the performers, organisers and people taking part are volunteers. The calibre of the bands is phenomenal and we are so moved to see how important the issue of supporting mental health is to our community. People want to be involved because everyone has been affected by a story like Tom’s and we all want to be in a position to be there for each other.