Two local charities are to benefit from this year’s Vicar’s Picnic, the family-friendly music festival held on the banks of the Medway near Maidstone.

Dandelion Time, which helps traumatised children and their families, and the Kenward Trust, a charity that offers alcohol and drug residential rehabilitation, are both being supported by this year’s festival, now in its sixth year.

The non-profit making Vicar’s Picnic has always been run by volunteers and several charities have benefitted over the years.

Vicar’s Picnic founder and Creative Director Dave King said: “The Vicar’s Picnic was designed by the community for the community and we have stuck by this as the festival has grown.

“We are proud of our passionate support of charitable causes, both to Yalding village and the Kent-wide community.

“In the past few years, we have given significant donations to several awe-inspiring charities, including the much-respected and admired Hospice in the Weald and Demelza Hospice Care for Children.”

Last year, the festival was able to donate £5,000 to Dandelion Time, based in West Farleigh.

Dave said: “Both Dandelion Time and the Kenward Trust are worthy causes doing great work in our community and we hope that the festival will help to raise their profile to a greater audience, as well as raising much-needed funds.”

This year’s festival, on July 20 and 21, has its most ambitious line-up yet, with headline acts including Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Starsailor and Cast. As well as two music stages, there will be a DJ tent and all the usual food and drink concessions, plus a children’s area, comedy tent, camping and glamping.

Proceeds from car parking and programme sales will be divided between the charities, as well as any other voluntary donations made over the two-day event.

Caroline Williams from Dandelion Time said: “Dandelion Time transforms the lives of traumatised children.  We work with children and families using a range of craft and farm activities, engaging head, heart and hands.   Opportunities are created for children to build self-belief, strengthen relationships and develop the skills and aspirations for a brighter future.  Two of our key therapies are outdoor activities and music, so a link with the Vicar’s Picnic fits very much with our ethos.”

Lynn Hyder, Director of Community Services for the Kenward Trust, based in Yalding, said: “We have been transforming people’s lives for 50 years in 2018, so we are delighted the Vicar’s Picnic has decided to support our anniversary.

“We are proud to have worked with individuals who have alcohol, drug and homelessness issues for half a century and now have a nationwide reputation for the work we do.”

Tickets for the Vicar’s Picnic are selling well and are available online, via the website as well as from the usual local agents, including Yalding Post Office, Yalding Tea Rooms and The Chequers, Laddingford.  There are four price bands – adults, youth (13-17), children (5-12) and infants (0-4) who are admitted free of charge. There is the option to donate to either charity when you buy tickets online.

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