Daring to Dream Launches ‘Lleswyl’, its Festival-At-Home experience

Daring to Dream is an ambitious charity whose mission is to support the emotional health and wellbeing of adult patients in Wales. Illness (acute and chronic) and disability can be incredibly isolating, and very emotionally demanding too.

The charity provides wellbeing support through tangible means such as creating safe, non-clinical havens for patients and families in hospitals as well as by reaching out into the community to provide connections to the Arts to support the wellbeing of those living at home and in the community.

So far, Daring to Dream’s focus has been on patients in the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board; ‘Lleswyl’ is the first step in supporting emotional health and wellbeing of patients across the whole of Wales. 

Lleswyl (Lles=wellbeing, Wyl= festival) is the Festival-at-Home experience established to support the wellbeing of those who normally cannot attend live gigs because of chronic illness, disability, or loneliness. Our aim is to provide an experience that everyone can share: an uplifting, fun and joyous Festival evening with the company of family, friends, and neighbours! Music is the catalyst that creates this wellbeing experience.

Lleswyl is free, inclusive, and accessible for all, whether at home, in hospital, or in supported accommodation. The charity also hopes to raise awareness of its ambitions and projects, to inspire donations so that Daring to Dream can continue its vital work, whilst prompting a fun night together that includes many chronically ill and disabled patients in Wales.

This Festival is the charity’s way of responding to and making visible the isolation and disconnection which, for many patients, is part of chronic illness and which the pandemic exacerbated. For the huge number of patients in Wales for whom there is no ‘new normal’, Daring to Dream is actively encouraging the connection of those with chronic illness or disability with others, with music, with laughter and joy for a lively, fun, and emotionally uplifting evening.

With Welsh icons Calan, the Root Doctors, Afro Cluster, Dr & the Medics, and others, including the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, already confirmed acts, the night is set to showcase musical diversity and appeal to all.

Lleswyl will be live-streamed on Friday 26th November (19:00 – 22:30) by Ratio Studios.

Barbara Chidgey, founder, and chair of Daring to Dream, has very active systemic lupus; her internal organs have been damaged; lupus causes significant inflammation of her connective tissues and joints which generates a good deal of chronic pain, fatigue, and brain fog.

While undergoing various  treatments, Barbara has experienced multiple stays in hospital, as well as engagement with numerous and ongoing different clinical specialities as an outpatient. She has learnt first-hand the need for emotional resilience and support in order to focus on living positively with significant complex medical challenges.

Barbara said:

Daring to Dream is all about supporting the emotional health of those with chronic illness, because it is essential to focus on living positively with chronic conditions.

“Without doubt, living with significant health conditions, and the accompanying crises and treatments, does have a considerable bearing on an individual’s emotional and psychological well-being. Daring to Dream adds value to the fantastic medical support and care that patients receive, by focusing on ways of supporting emotional wellbeing to complement the clinical care.

“Lleswyl, the very first Daring to Dream Festival, will be a great way for everyone and anyone to get involved and experience the fun and joy of being reconnected with others and their companionship with music as the catalyst.

As we come out of lockdown and return to live gigs and festivals, it is important to remember that there is no ‘new normal’ for huge numbers of those in Wales living with chronic illness or disability.

Lleswyl on the 26th November, is all about bringing that Festival-At-Home experience to them in a fun, joyous, innovative, inclusive, accessible and uplifting way.”

You can sign up here https://lleswyl.eventbrite.co.uk to host your own festival experience and to find out more or support Daring to Dream, visit https://daringtodream.wales/

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