Rock musicians set for South Cambs winter concert in aid of mental health cause

PUBLISHED: 16:08 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 06 December 2019

The EastFest team at The Coach House in Flint Cross. Picture: Steve Mallen

The EastFest team at The Coach House in Flint Cross. Picture: Steve Mallen

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The East Anglian rock community is once again coming together to stage a South Cambs concert in aid of a Meldreth mental health and suicide prevention charity.

Meldreth guitarist Richard East died by suicide last year. Picture: EastFestMeldreth guitarist Richard East died by suicide last year. Picture: EastFest

The EastFest gig series at The Coach House Hotel in Flint Cross was established following the tragic suicide of Meldreth rock guitarist Richard East, who took his own life last year.

The inaugural festival in July saw seven local bands - many comprising former friends and bandmates of Richard - take to the stage on the five-acre site to help raise £7,500 for mental health charity, The MindEd Trust.

At the time, Richard's wife Sandra said: "His loss highlights the curse of mental illness and suicide in our community and I am deeply touched by the love and support everyone has shown in planning this marvellous event.

"Richard would have loved to be a part of this, but is sadly no longer with us. We must do all we can to prevent future tragedy."

Edward Mallen from Meldreth took his own life in February 2015. Picture: Courtesy of Steve MallenEdward Mallen from Meldreth took his own life in February 2015. Picture: Courtesy of Steve Mallen

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The MindEd Trust was established by Meldreth resident Steve Mallen who lost his son Edward to suicide in 2015 aged just 18.

The charity supports mental health and suicide prevention training and awareness in South Cambs and North Herts with a particular focus on young people.

It is devoted to destroying the stigma surrounding mental illness and providing care and support for those experiencing trauma. 
Mr Mallen said: "Rich East was a childhood friend of mine and his loss, adding to the terrible death of my own son, continues to resonate deeply in our community - highlighting the growing burden of mental illness on our society.

"EastFest is all about having fun while raising funds to help local people. We are delighted to be staging a more intimate winter evening of music and fun."

The EastFest team's Winter Warmer Acoustic Concert will see bands and musicians from across the region come together to perform old rock favourites and original work.

It takes place at The Coach House in Flint Cross on Saturday, December 14, from 7pm. Entry to the event is free and pre-booking is not required. Attendees are invited to make charitable donations on the evening.

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