The sun came out on Friday 25 August just in time for St Andrew's Healthcare's GreenFest, our very own summer festival for young mental health patients.
Held for the second year, GreenFest featured a jam-packed schedule of live music, food, crafts and entertainment. Patients had the opportunity to try yoga, take part in drum circles and jam sessions, and get moving with a series of street dance workshops.
Live music was spread across two ‘stages’, featuring a variety of external and internal musical artists. Singer-songwriter Robyn Wilson opened the main stage, performing both her own material and cover versions of current chart toppers.
The line-up was completed by Behind the Settee – an intriguing hippie folk trio; Matt Henshaw – singer-songwriter and NME Breakthrough Artist; Lunaxis – who returned to St Andrew’s having previously played the inaugural GreenFest; and Charlotte Carpenter – an indie rock singer who left her band at home for a solo set.
GreenFest also welcomed Adam Harilaou, Scott Walters, Rebecca Buckley and Hippolyta’s Moon to perform on the Café Stage.
Throughout the day, the young people also enjoyed a pop-up photo booth complete with props, a Guitar Hero Challenge, a Just Dance marathon and an Air Guitar Battle – all of which were highly contended!
Paul Hanrahan, Teacher of English within St Andrew’s Healthcare’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), organised the event. He explained: “This was the second year of GreenFest and the aim was to be bigger and better than last year.
“All of our CAHMS wards were able to access the event this year, which meant that 90 per cent of our young patients could get involved with the festival.
“I think the whole event went incredibly well. People were engaging in all of the workshops throughout the morning and were moving between the two stages to listen to all of the acts that performed.
“It was amazing to see so many smiling faces - everywhere you looked people were obviously enjoying themselves. Throughout the day people were coming up to me and telling me how much they appreciated having this event put on.
“Music means so much to our young people so to be able to experience live music sitting on a hay bale and chatting and socialising with their peers was a great experience for them. The aim was to create the feel and atmosphere of a music festival and I think we definitely achieved that.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who contributed to this event from the musicians who donated their time and talent through to the escorting staff."
Lisa Cairns, CAMHS Service Director, added: "I would like to personally thank Paul Hanrahan and his colleagues for making GreenFest 2017 such a great success.
"Paul worked incredibly hard planning and running this event which was enjoyed by everyone at FitzRoy House. Great work; same time, same place next year!"
St Andrew’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services care for boys and girls aged 10 to 18 with complex mental disorders with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties, intellectual disabilities, mental illness and autistic spectrum disorders.