Civvi GingeFest to offer family fun in memory of our red-haired Angie


A Cheltenham taxi driver is putting on a family fun festival in Cheltenham next month in memory of his wife with the support of close family friends.

Dubbed Civvi GingeFest, the two day family focused festival will offer fun for everyone on 7th and 8th July at Cheltenham Civil Service Club on Tewkesbury Road.

Alan Wakefield lost his wife, Angie Wakefield, to cancer in March last year and has been passionately raising funds for the charities who helped support her ever since with the support of close friends and family.

So far they have raised over £4,500 for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, who cared for Angie in her final days, and Alan is hoping to increase this fundraising figure further at the family fun festival.

Alan said, “The idea for Civvi GingeFest developed from a night out down the Civil Service Club when I said wouldn’t it be a good idea to hold a festival here in memory of Angie. My wife was ginger so I said why not call it GingeFest in tribute to her, and that’s where this all started. We went from wanting to organise a one day event to creating a two day festival packed with something for all the family.”

Civvi GingeFest kick starts with family fun day on Saturday 7th July from 12pm with Danters fun fair, craft, sweet and book stalls, kids games and activities, an appearance from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and a fancy dress competition, organised by Specsavers, for the best dressed Marvel Hero, Disney Princess or Jurassic World Dino. For the football-mad the club will also be showing all the World Cup football matches on the big screens, with bar and refreshments available.

It will be followed on the Saturday evening by an adult comedy evening featuring a compare and three comedians, one of which, Noel James, recently came third in the Semi Finals of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ on ITV.

On Sunday the stage will be set alight by local music acts led by Tommy and The Fuse and Frazer Lepford, a Cheltenham singer song writer whose track ‘Rodeo’ peaked at number seven in the iTunes singer/songwriter charts in May 2018. All in all 13 local music acts will be appearing at the event.

Alan, who has been involved with the Civil Service Football Club as either a player, manager or chairman for the past 40 years, aims is to raise as much funds as he can in memory of Angie. He said, “Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice were phenomenal in their care of my Angie. I can’t put into words how great they all were, from Dr Paul Perkins the consultant to the nursing team to the cooks and cleaners. They were all brilliant. I know that their care can only continue with donations, which is what motivated us all to start fundraising. I hope proceeds from the festival will help people going through the same thing we were.”

Angie was a stay at home mother to Gemma, now 32, who is helping to organise the festival with her father, before working in more recent years at the Civil Service Club. Alan said, “I was always so involved with the club and she used to moan at me about being all about the club all the time. ‘There he is, off down the club again’ she used to say. But when her own parents died close together she started to come with me and ended up getting so involved with the club she ended up working there. The tables were turned then. I couldn’t get her out of the Civil Service Club!”

Jill Williams, Angie’s cousin, is one of the six-strong team of volunteers helping to put on Civvi GingeFest. She said, “Angie loved life and she loved a party. She brought so much joy and laughter wherever she went. We were really close. We were more like sisters. She would help anyone. I know she’d be doing the same as us right now if she were here.”

Alan added, “Angie would be amazed and stunned to see all this going on. The amount of people who came to her funeral. The memorial bench placed down the club for her. She touched so many people’s lives and people are now being incredible in support of her. I particularly want to thank all those friends and family who are doing so much right now to make this festival happen.”

“Angie would absolutely love the idea of a family festival encouraging people to get together to have a good time while helping to support other people.”

The event has had the full backing of the Cotswold Area Civil Service Club with manager Neville Thomas playing a full role in organising the event. Alan is also being supported by friends Janet and Demi Wheeler, Justin Beesley (his daughter Gemma’s partner) and Gary Goodhall who have all put so much time and energy into putting on the festival in such a short time.

Kelly Rumble is Community Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. She said, ‘This is a perfect local summer to get behind and enjoy together with family and friends. Get your tickets, go along and enjoy a great day out. We’re so grateful to Alan and his friends and family who have been doing some incredible things to help raise funds for our hospice in memory of Angie. As a charity we rely on donations from local fundraisers like them to keep our services running. With every ticket sold you will be helping to raise funds which will allow our care to continue. We are looking forward to seeing lots of people there over the weekend!’

Tickets for the Saturday Family Fun Day (from 12pm), Saturday Comedy Night (from 7pm) and Sunday Music Festival (from 12pm) are all available in advance from the Civil Service Club or by emailing Tickets will also be available on the gate on each of the days of the festival.

For prices and to get your tickets visit the Facebook event page here.