Tuesday, 09 August 2022

We’ll do it again, say festival’s organisers

SATURDAY’S Jazz for Kamuli festival in Harpsden has been hailed a “great success” by the organisers

SATURDAY’S Jazz for Kamuli festival in Harpsden has been hailed a “great success” by the organisers — who say they plan to hold another one next year.

Held at Perseverance Farm, the event drew more than 250 people and raised around £7,000 for the Kamuli Mission Hospital in rural Uganda.

Henley GP Dr Philip Unwin of the Hart Surgery in York Road volunteers at the hospital for three weeks each year, dealing with everything from emergency surgery to caesarean sections. At times there can be a queue of hundreds waiting for treatment and operations.

During a short talk, he told the festival audience that the Kamuli hospital has a permanent medical staff of nine to treat a population of 750,000 — compared with the Royal Berkshire Hospital’s staff of more than 1,500 to treat a similarly sized population in the Reading area.

The £7,000 raised will not only purchase Kamuli’s first ambulance, where previously patients might have had to walk up to three days to reach the hospital, but the balance will also save many lives as the average cost of an operation in Uganda is just £30. Perseverance Farm’s owners Anthony and Yai Wrigley were delighted by the success of the event.

Anthony said: “We’ve raised enough for an ambulance and funding for many medical operations at the Kamuli hospital, so it’s all been very worthwhile and the generosity from everyone was humbling. We plan to do it again next year and make it a regular fixture.”

Steve Wellings of festival organisers Jazz in Reading added: “It was a great success, with well over 250 people and lots of food and drink sales to contribute to the charity coffers. Oh, and the music was just superb!”

A procession of top-class jazz performances came from The Impossible Gentlemen, the Jason Rebello Quartet and Art Themen’s New Directions Quintet.

The festival had opened at 4pm, with guests wandering the grounds, enjoying picnics and refreshments before the music got under way at 6pm.

The tea and cake stall was set up by Christine Priestley, selling cakes and scones made by family and friends, and the vintage tea cups and saucers were kindly donated by Charlotte Cavanagh of Time for Tea in Henley.

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