Last week, we were invited to attend the Secret Garden Party(SGP) by head ‘gardener’ Freddie Fellowes and his wife Amy. SGP is one of the UK’s most prestigious music; cabaret; artist events with an awesome mix of music; dance and activity offers.
As a social enterprise, The Secret Garden Party has chosen a couple of charities that they (and their artists!) are keen to support – and we were one of them.
What made this all the more special was that Cal used to go to SGP with his sister, Cyan.
And…this year, it landed on what would have been his 26th birthday (July 20th).
And…the main stage headliner was Underworld…performing probably Cal’s favourite dance track (Born Slippy)…the last video we have of Cal is him dancing to that in our front room on Xmas day 2020, just 14 days before he took his own life and tapped out of this physical plain!
And..the theme of SGP this year was Star Wars…Cal was obsessed as a kid with Star Wars. His love and obsession with Star Wars – the detail he observed in every scene of every film – hour after hour; day after day studying every move that QiGon Jin, Master Luke Skywalker and Darth Maul made in their lightsaber duels. Where is Cal we would say? ; oh he is in the bedroom again practicing his lightsaber – and if you dared venture in to the room – you would immediately be handed a lightsaber and choreographed to the minute detail to replicate one of the classic lightsaber duels between good and evil – and if you got it wrong – he wouldn’t chastise or go off in a sulk – he would simply and most gently show you how to hold and use the lightsaber.
The stars were aligned and we attended along with a number of our Youth Board and very close friends. We were empowered by the response of so many young people at SGP – who, when we introduced our 24/ campaign, without exception, simply said: ‘where can I sign’.
(Alan grabbing some willing ‘gardeners’ to sign the QR code on his back!)
What we found even more compelling was the number of people who work in the NHS and mental health sector who desperately wanted to see our campaign succeed.
We amplified Cal’s voice for better support for young people in mental health crisis….we danced with Cal by our side….we made new friends and supporters….we gained over 20,000 new signatures in the space of about 5 days.