FESTIVALGOERS shed light on mental health at the second annual Brightlingsea WinterFest.

More than 1,500 people supported the four-day festival, which has so far raised £2,200 for charity Colchester Mind.

Organisers Alix Sheppard, Dave Griffiths and Katy Bache created ten different events involving around 200 artists and musicians, including singer Leah Sanchez.


It started with an open mic night at Ye Old Swan pub and karaoke at the Brewers.

The weekend continued with a family day, Bandfest at the King’s Head pub and a final lantern parade through the town.

Alix said she was “overwhelmed” by the level of support received and said it turned into a “real community event”.


“Every single event was amazingly supported,” she said.

“Our volunteers gave their time for free and helped to make it a success, as well as the local businesses.

“At one point I asked for people to put their hands up if they had never been affected by mental health and the pub was really quiet until someone began clapping - it was such a powerful moment.

“Messages like what I received through Facebook from someone who told me how down they felt but forced themselves out of bed to help us because what we do ‘gives people a bit of hope’ is what makes it all worthwhile.”

The trio will continue collecting donations until February 20.

For more details, go to facebook.com/ BrightlingseaWinterFest.