“WE will make this a party to remember for Alex.”
That’s the rallying cry from the community of Stockbridge, which has come together to show its support for its most inspirational resident.
Ever since villagers heard about how young dad Alex had lost three limbs and part of his face after a simple cold developed into a deadly bug, leaving him fighting for his life, they wanted to do something to help him.
Now after six months, with a team of 66 volunteers spending hundreds of hours in careful planning, they hope to bring hundreds of people together for one reason – to show Alex they care.
Tickets are on sale now for The Bridge Music Festival, which they have organised as a fundraiser. It takes place at Stockbridge Recreation Ground, off High Street, on Saturday, 28 June.
The family event will kick off at 1pm with Stockbridge Community Fete. Organised by Stockbridge Football Club, it will feature 42 stalls with traditional activities as well as home-made goods to buy, a bouncy castle, and a host of activities, including an aircraft display and football tournament until 5pm.
Foodies can enjoy treats from the village’s favourites, including Thyme and Tides, a barbecue staged by Robinson’s butchers and Harrison’s Pizza, as well as a beer tent hosted by the Three Cups Inn.
From 5pm, the music amps will be turned up to get the party started. Bands of all genres spanning everything from acoustic, indie to ’60s, rock and roll and jazz will take to the stage ahead of a stunning fireworks display.
Sheriden Sleap, who is among the volunteers organising the event, said: “I’ve never known the village come together quite so much as this. It has literally been everyone – every group, every organisation, every business – everyone is chipping in.
“It’s going to be a really family-friendly day and there will be something for everyone. For Stockbridge this is going to be big, bold and lots of fun.”
Money raised will help Stockbridge Football Club as well as the Al Lewis Trust – set up after the 34-year-old dad contracted Group A streptococcus last Nove-mber. He was given just a three per cent chance of survival.
So far more than £35,000 has been raised in just a few months for the dad after celebrities, friends and total strangers rallied around to help the cost of his rehabilitation.
Alex spent six months in hospital but is now back at home. Next month, he will go to a specialist centre in Roehampton for an intensive course to learn to walk on prosthetic legs.
Alex said: “I can’t thank everyone enough. It is extremely humbling. Stock-bridge as a community has been so supportive, and I really can’t put into words how it makes me feel. It will be an amazing day.”
Everyone is urged to attend the fundraising fete. Tickets for the evening of music and fireworks must be bought in advance. They cost £3 and are available from The Garden Inn, The Three Cups, and The Greyhound on the Test.