Festival aims to bring hope out of tragedy

Herald Series: James Phillpott with daughter Amber James Phillpott with daughter Amber

FOR some parents losing a child can mean losing all hope.

But for James Phillpott, losing his baby daughter has made him even more determined to make sure her short life is remembered – and in turn, brings hope to others.

Amber, from Abingdon, died last year at the age of 18 months after contracting a rare form of leukaemia.

Mr Phillpott set up Abingdon’s annual Yeah Baby! festival three years ago to fundraise for the Oxford Children’s Hospital after a friend’s son had life-saving care there.

Now he is determined the festival – fast becoming the highlight of the town’s social calendar – will be bigger and better than ever in honour of his beloved daughter.

Mr Phillpott said: “We wanted something positive to come out of Amber’s life.

“This year Yeah Baby! will be supporting all of the charities which helped Amber while she was alive.

“We do this to keep Amber close to us, and to make her short life meaningful.”

The Yeah Baby! festival runs from 11am on Saturday in Abingdon Market Square.The event is free but donations are welcome.

Live bands, a bar run by the Brewery Tap and local brewer Loose Cannon, and homestyle Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine from Tiffins Tandoori will be laid on.

Money raised from the festivities will go to the children’s hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Helen & Douglas Hous hospice, and the Amber Phillpott Trust, which Mr Phillpott and his partner Fleur Tinson set up after their daughter’s death in March last year.

So far more than £50,000 has been raised in Amber’s name.

Mr Phillpott: “Apart from great live music and food, there will also a playbus where children do arts and crafts activities.

“The party starts at 11am and rocks on into the night. This year’s festival is going to be bigger and better than ever, so please show your support again and help us smash last year’s fundraising record of £11,500.”

  • For full details of the festival, click on the link.

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