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Singing triage nurse organises two-day music festival to celebrate NHS anniversary

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A nurse whose family has worked for the NHS for generations is organising a huge music festival to celebrate the health service’s 70th birthday and raise money for a children’s ward.

Dyfan Roberts is a triage nurse in a GP out of hours service at Glan Clywd Hospital, run by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, but between shifts has found time to pull together the event with former paediatric nurse David Jones.

“I thought I’d start something myself and perhaps make a small festival to celebrate 70 years of the NHS”

Dyfan Roberts

What started out as a small-scale project has grown into a major two-day family festival at a local football ground, with two stages and about 40 acts, including the chart-topping pop band Scouting for Girls and popular Welsh comedy rap group Goldie Lookin Chain.

Mr Roberts, who is himself a singer and will be performing at the event, has previously helped raise money for NHS charity Awyr Las and supported rock star and cancer survivor Mike Peters on his 130-mile fundraising walk around north Wales.

“I am a singer on the side of my nursing and do quite a lot of smaller festivals and events and stuff for the Awyr Las charity, which is the charity for our trust,” he told Nursing Times.

“I had done a lot with Mike Peters and his walk for cancer but that ended last year, so I thought I would start something myself and perhaps make a small festival to celebrate 70 years of the NHS.”

“The aim is to make a celebration for the NHS and the children’s ward combined”

Dyfan Roberts

He was approached by Mr Jones, who has worked for Awyr Las – which means Blue Sky in English – since retiring as a children’s nurse and suggested the event would also be a great way to mark the 25th anniversary of the children’s unit at Glan Clywd.

Mr Roberts then started getting in touch with some local singers and music managers and before the pair knew it the scheme had spiralled.

“It has just grown really out of nowhere and become this massive festival with a funfair, food village, headliners and a firework finale,” he said. “The aim is to make a celebration for the NHS and the children’s ward combined.”

The Little Dragon Festival, which will be staged at Conwy Borough Football Club’s stadium on 21 and 22 July, has attracted a range of sponsors including transport company Arriva and Conwy Town Council.

Organisers have also arranged a number of fundraising events leading up to the festival including an auction and a busking tour around north Wales on a bus this Saturday.

“This is so important for me because I am proud to work for the NHS and want to give something back”

Dyfan Roberts

The red double decker will take some of the music acts appearing at the festival to three hospitals among other places and Mr Roberts said he would probably be doing one or two numbers himself.

He explained he had never performed on stage before until his Dad – a hospital chaplain – roped him into a charity talent show.

“My Dad is a chaplain for the hospital and does Elvis impersonations for Dementia Care, so he drafted me in and said, ‘Come on, get yourself up and sing’, and I did because he sort of forced me and from then on I’ve not really stopped with bookings constantly coming in,” he said.

Mr Roberts, who sings in both Welsh and English and has experimented with different music styles including swing and rock.

He has previously made it through several rounds of auditions for TV talent shows The Voice and The X Factor, but ultimately pulled out because he could not fit them around his nursing commitments.

He has been a nurse for four years and worked in accident and emergency before moving to the out-of-hours service.

Dyfan Roberts

Little Dragon Music Festival

Dyfan Roberts on stage

He said his job was busy but he managed to fit in singing and his charity work between his 12-hour shifts, which are mainly at nights and weekends.

“The rest of the week you can organise what you want in your own time really,” he said. “Some people just lounge around but I am not one of those people and only sleep for about three hours a day – which seems to be enough for me.”

He said was he was keen to celebrate the NHS 70th anniversary because the institution had played such a key role in his family’s life.

“My family have all been NHS workers right back to my great grandmother, who was a mental health nurse,” he said.

“My dad is a chaplain for the NHS, my mum is social worker and was a paramedic, my brother is a nurse so we’re an NHS family really,” he told Nursing Times.

He added: “That’s why this is so important for me because I am proud to work for the NHS and want to give something back because the NHS has given so much to our family.”

Mr Roberts hoped proceeds from the festival would not only benefit the children’s ward but could even lead to the foundation of a new charity to support children’s services across north Wales.

Anyone interested in attending, sponsoring or helping out at the festival – or simply making a donation – can find out more at the Little Dragon Festival website

 

Dyfan Roberts

Little Dragon Music Festival

Little Dragon Music Festival poster with line-up for day 1

Dyfan Roberts

Little Dragon Music Festival

Little Dragon Music Festival poster with line-up for day 2

Dyfan Roberts

Little Dragon Music Festival

Big Bus Busk on 28 April 2018

 

  • 2 Comments

Readers' comments (2)

  • How to Fund the NHS
    1. Convert National Insurance to National Health Insurance and put all the NI into the NHS. This is better than adding another Tax. Also use Lottery funds

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  • This music festival sounds brilliant well done Dyfan and David I’m sure it will be a great success.

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