Brand new festival is coming to Tewkesbury to raise money for local hospice

Tewkesbury Ryder Festival

Tewkesbury Ryder Festival - Credit: Archant

Tewkesbury will be turned into a hub of cultural activity next month as a festival of music, art and history events comes to the town. The brand new event was organised by a local girl to raise funds for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice in memory of her mum.

Hannah and her mum in 1996

Hannah and her mum in 1996 - Credit: Archant

Tewkesbury Ryder Fest will take place August 1-6 under the organisation of 22 year old Hannah Cooper in memory of her mum, Julie Cooper, who died from breast cancer in 2011 and was cared for at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice in the last month of her life.

The family friendly festival will offer a number of events at a range of different venues across Tewkesbury with the support of many local businesses and organisations, bringing the historic town together in support of the local hospice – the only hospice in the county with a specialist inpatient unit providing expert hospice care.

Hannah, currently on a year in industry from Bournemouth University, volunteers in the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court fundraising team and has a strong personal connection to the hospice who provided care for her mum, Julie.

Hannah and her mum Julie on the beach in Cornwall

Hannah and her mum Julie on the beach in Cornwall - Credit: Archant

Hannah said, “My Mum became terminally ill, and in the last few weeks of her life the hospice provided my Mum with palliative care. I wanted to give back for the support they gave to us in our time of need.”

“Working at the hospice is so rewarding, and you can really see where your time and effort goes, to helping people like my Mum. So much hard work goes into providing the wonderful care that the hospice offers. Everyone really cares. I hope I can raise money in memory of my mum to help other families in the same position I was in.”

The event is pulling together a range of community groups and businesses in and around Tewkesbury to support Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. Katie Power, Economic Development Officer at Tewkesbury Borough Council who has been supporting Hannah in the organisation of the festival said, “It is fantastic to see so many businesses and groups in Tewkesbury coming together in support of this festival to help raise funds for such a worthwhile local cause. There is a fantastic community spirit in Tewkesbury and I hope as many residents as possible get behind the festival and support it by attending some of the events being put on throughout the week.”

The week-long festival kick starts with the launch of an exciting photography exhibition on 1 August from 7.30pm with special guests including Jazz musician Kim Cypher. It will feature photos taken by Phil Nicholls and his tutor Angela Williams of global stars – some previously unseen – including Audrey Hepburn, Courtney Love, Billy Idol, Barbara Streisland, Amy Winehouse, Pink Floyd, Jane Fonda, Marianne Faithful, Bjork, Lemmy and Paul Newman and more.

The exhibition will run until Friday 5 August in the Library Room at Theoc House, Barton Street, where it will be brought to a close with an open mic night from 7.30pm hosted by local band The Future Set.

Families can take a special guided tour of the Tewkesbury Battlefields on 2nd August with the Tewkesbury Historical Society – perfect for history buffs and an educational summer outing for children too. The tour starts at 10am from The Crescent and will end with a picnic provided at the Victoria Pleasure Gardens all included in the ticket price of £5 per adult, £3 per child or £15 for a family of four (two adults and two children).

Wednesday 3 August sees a night of pure relaxation with a vintage pamper evening hosted at The Fleet Inn from 7.30pm until 11pm, Twyning. Costing £5 for entry and offering manicures, pedicures, eyebrow shaping, Reiki, a vintage themed photo booth, vintage car, topped off with a glass of Prosecco on arrival it promises to be an evening of pure glamour!

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The festival will be end on Saturday 6 August with an indoor market at The Watson Hall from 10am until 4pm organised by Julie Irwin showcasing some of the best local arts and crafts producers with children’s entertainment too.

Passion Academy run by Tara Fowler will be holding dance performances 10.30am until 11am and 2.15pm until 2.45pm, with a free dance workshop for children from 11.30am until 12pm. For those feeling energetic, an hour of Zumba will take place from 1.15pm until 2.15pm led by Sue Adsett and Kirsty McLaren.

Nearby business The Paint Pot will be offering a children’s fun activity day from 10am until 4pm on the same day with pottery painting, glitter tattoos, free refreshments, balloons and panning for shark teeth and fossils and a mini beasts adventure with Honeybourne-based outdoor activity centre, All Things Wild.

Come evening Watson Hall will be transformed into a live music gig arena, headlined by fantastic local bands A3, The Future Set, Erica and [spunge] with doors opening from 7.30pm.

Tickets for the live gig cost £7 with VIP tickets available at £15 to include fast track entry, Prosecco, nibbles and table waitress service.

Tickets for all events are available to buy now from The Anchor, Tewkesbury or be reserved by emailing

For further information on Tewkesbury Ryder Fest visit or follow them on Twitter @TewkesRyderFest