Food Festival organisers have raised over £18,000 for mental health charity, Mind, over the last 4 years

Harrogate Food Festival

The North Leeds Food Festival has been supporting Leeds Mind for 4 years and has been incredibly successful in raising funds and awareness thus far. The Ilkley Food and Drink Festival and the Harrogate Food and Drink Festival were announced this year and supported Bradford Mind and Harrogate Mind respectively. 

Michael Johnston, festival director, on supporting Mind; “We care deeply about supporting Mind’s important services financially, but also about raising awareness so that people know that services like this exist whenever they may need it.”

Mind is a nationwide mental health charity that provides important support and advice to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. This is an incredibly important service that everyone should have access to, and festival director Michael Johnston wanted to support this. 

The festivals raise money through a number of different channels; through online ticket sales, car park donations and fun activities. Michael Johnston will then match the highest amount raised after the festival as a personal donation to Mind. 

The current total of funds raised for Mind stands at £18,125 and will go towards helping provide vital support for those who need it. Not only have the festivals raised money for these services, they have also raised awareness. Mind have a stall at each festival with a number of volunteers available to talk to. 

It has been a busy summer for the festival organisers, from all star chef demo line-ups to unique and exciting independent food and drink. 

Yorkshire Food Guide and Leeds Cookery School put together a talented chef demo line-up for the festivals. The North Leeds Food Festival saw the likes of Josh Whitehead and Harrogate Food and Drink Festival saw exciting demos from the likes of renowned chocolatier Andrew Thwaite and chef Whaheed Rojan. 

Many talented musicians took to the stage over the course of the three festivals, from the foot-stomping blues of The Washboard Resonators, to the powerful rock renditions of The Rock Choir. Each of the festivals were hosted by compere and saxophonist Will Forrester. 

The festivals are now over for another year, but will be returning next year for another summer celebrating independent food and drink and talented artisan crafts people.

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