A story of Anita Balkham and Elderflower Fields

I met Anita at a friends’ wedding. She a clinical psychologist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital working with children with neurodisabilities such as autism, epilepsy and cerebral palsy. That’s pretty impressive but that’s only part of the story…

When I met Anita, she and her fiancé Stuart were busy planning a wedding cum music festival, a fun, different and a hugely ambitious way to celebrate their “big day”. Well, they wanted to have a blast and invite all their friends so … they pulled it off.

Next year, prompted by friends and neighbours, Anita and Stuart decided to do it again, and that time really everyone was invited. 

The idea behind the Elderflower Fields Festival is to make it local, cosy and family-friendly. Many families with young children are reluctant to go to festivals as they often turn into drunken and busy affairs. Elderflower Fields Festival, on the other hand, is focused on providing a safe and stimulating atmosphere for families with even the youngest kids. There are sport camps, arts workshops, story-telling groups, music workshops, dance classes, mountain biking, a cinema and even a mini train. Anita and Stuart work in partnership with local businesses to serve local produce during the festival weekend. Think artisan cheese, bread, scotch eggs, chutneys and even Sussex-made chorizo! 

I find it hugely inspiring when someone dares to dream big. Elderflower Festival has now been running for two years and is popular with musicians and guests alike. As Goethe said, boldness has genius, power and magic in it…  




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