Chepstow music festival backs tot's appeal

South Wales Argus: A day in the life of Imogen Ashwell Lewis. Imogen crawling along the living room floor. (6224174) A day in the life of Imogen Ashwell Lewis. Imogen crawling along the living room floor. (6224174)

AN ANNUAL music festival held in Shirenewton, near Chepstow, has named the Help Imogen Walk Appeal as one its chosen charities.

Last year's Shirefest, which was held at The Huntsman Hotel, raised £4,000 for charity and attracted a record attendance.

This year, organisers have pledged to help the appeal to raise £40,000 for a pioneering operation that is hoped will help two-year-old Imogen Ashwell-Lewis, of Caldicot, to walk independently, as well as the Noah's Ark Children's Hospital Charity.

The one-day charity music festival takes place across three stages and features live performances from bands including Dark Patrick, Rob Lear Band, Crowsaw, Rachel Austin, Cure For The Morning, Maharaja Blues and Ghost of a Dog with more acts to be announced.

Imogen's mum, Catherine Ashwell-Rice, of Lapwing Avenue, said: "It's lovely that such a high profile local event has chosen Imogen's appeal as one of their chosen charities this year. Not only will the event raise funds towards our target but it will be a great event for her to attend."

Ms Ashwell-Rice launched the appeal for Imogen who suffers from a debilitating nerve-muscle condition spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which means she walks on her toes, has stiffness in her legs and poor balance and co-ordination.

So far the appeal has raised £16,500 which will be used to pay for an operation, not available on the NHS, to help her walk.

Recent donations have come from Haywain Fun Day, Caldicot, on Sunday which raised more than £380 for the appeal and Chepstow and Caldicot Lion's Club which raised £250.

Shirefest takes place on July 19. Tickets are £10. Visit www.shirefest.org or find them on Twitter@shirefest or on Facebook.

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