Wishing Tree helps charity’s dreams come true at Victorious Festival

The Wishing Tree at Victorious Festival  Picture: Jean Reno/Ubique Photography
The Wishing Tree at Victorious Festival Picture: Jean Reno/Ubique Photography

LETTER OF THE DAY: Hope I don’t end up in an ‘uncaring’ care home

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TREE-hugging festival-goers have helped raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Hundreds of people gave a donation to the Portsmouth-based Arms Around The Child (AATC) so they could write a wish and tie it to the lime tree in the centre of the World Music Village at Victorious Festival over the weekend.

Along with a raffle to win a guitar signed by Victorious headliner Mark Ronson, nearly £3,000 was raised for the charity, which supports orphans in India, South Africa and Ghana.

Charity director Ellie Milner said: ‘We saw the tree when we first went to look at the site and my friend said it looked like a wishing tree – then the idea came from there.

‘It was a nice way for people to express themselves, knowing that we’re a charity that strives to make children’s wishes come true.

‘There were some incredible wishes, some funny, some heartbreaking. There was so much laughter, joy and sadness – it was very emotive.

‘Even as we’ve been breaking down the site people have been coming back to have a look at it.’

This year’s Victorious marked a successful debut for the World Music Village, which was hosted by AATC.

‘People did seem to love the diversity,’ said Ellie.

‘And it was very inclusive, we had something for everyone. From Turkish music, to African, to Bhangra, Tai-chi workshops, some great new up-and-coming rappers, fabulous poets. It was amazing.’

One of the highlights was a DJ set by Neneh Cherry.

‘I love Neneh,’ said Ellie. ‘She’s a close friend, but I think the African band we had on Saturday night were brilliant – they had everyone doing African line-dancing.

‘And Rex Domino with his Moosehead takeover on Sunday night was a lot of fun – no-one wanted it to end.’

The wishes are still attached to the tree but are expected to be removed after the weekend. For more information about the charity go to armsaroundthechild.org