Willow blog

A record breaking year

August 20, 2015

Folk by the Oak is one of my favourite events in the Willow calendar. We are very honoured to be the official partner charity of the festival and over the past seven years we have raised an incredible £38,000 for Special Days.

The festival will always have a special place in my heart as this is where I was introduced to Luke, the first person I met who’d had their own Special Day. At Folk by the Oak, we have the chance to go up onto the main stage and talk about Willow before the headline bands start. I was absolutely terrified of the thought of being up on stage in front of such a large crowd but with Luke by my side I knew I could do it. There’s just nothing more powerful than hearing about the impact of a Special Day first hand.

This year I was joined on stage by Jackie. She reduced almost 7000 people to tears when she bravely told her story and how her Special Day had showed her just how important it is to make every day count. Shortly after we finished speaking, 23 amazing Team Willow volunteers walked through the crowds with collection buckets. It’s such an emotional time and seeing the generosity of the festival goers is truly incredible.

“It was quite funny after our big moment. I got lots of spontaneous hugging from the crowd, which I had never encountered before. If I can move people in my small way to give Willow the support it deserves, that’s all that matters! “

– Jackie Scully, FBTO Speaker 2015

Our volunteers work tirelessly throughout the festival selling raffle tickets, telling people about Willow and running games and activities at the Willow stand. It’s a long and tiring day but we all love it. We really can’t thank Folk by the Oak enough for their continued support and we can’t wait for 2016!

If you would like to get involved as a Willow volunteer and help at events such as Folk by the Oak, please email me on [email protected]

Volunteer for Willow