News Story

The Connections scheme provides free tickets for all our Festival events to local people and families who are facing a range of barriers and hardships, and would otherwise not be able to attend.

We work in partnership with local organisations and charities that support wellbeing, including the social prescribing team at Caring for Communities and People (CCP), Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH), Gloucestershire Deaf Association (GDA), and Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees (CWR).

At Jazz Festival 2023, 83 tickets were given out for free through the scheme and below is a case study from one of these attendees.

X has an addiction to alcohol and is currently living in local supported accommodation.    

He is bright and wants to get sober but is finding this very difficult.  He mentioned that one of the problems he has is that he gets very bored – he doesn’t work or have a social life.  His family keep him at a distance because of the disruption he causes.    

I referred X to a four week mindfulness course at the Isbourne Centre. We also talked about community engagement and I referred him for two tickets for the Jazz Festival at the end of April. I kept up the prompts and momentum, and I texted him in the week to remind him of the event as his memory can be poor, especially when he is drinking. 

X confirmed the course himself with the Isbourne Centre and has so far attended two weeks of the course which he has found interesting and a good focus.    

He worked hard to ensure he made it to the Festival, and was proud when he next came into the pantry that he had attended the Jazz Festival and really enjoyed it. He stayed after his event to watch some of the free stage too.  

X was unlikely to have attended either the course or the festival without my encouragement and follow up with texts. He has derived enjoyment from each and I believe these have been two of the most positive actions he has taken in a long time.  He came into the Pantry to expressly thank me today. It is early days with this individual, but step by step, positive engagement with community is turning his life around.