GRAFFITI artists have put on a piece of live performance art in Tunbridge Wells this Saturday (27th) – as they conjure up a wacky creation for the upcoming Crazy Jeans Kart Race.

One of the artists, Hugh Whitaker, 21, whose colourful artwork and murals are well known throughout the town, was seen designing and decorating a soapbox kart under the Millennium Clock.

 

Talented Hugh agreed to lend his skill in making a unique, eye-catching kart for organisers of the June 8th event as a longtime supporter of Taylor Made Dreams – one of two charities this year’s kart race is raising money for.

 

The kart will be one of 40 taking part in the annual family fun day in Tunbridge Wells, which sees local businesses, organisations and residents go head to head on a specially made racetrack through the town’s Dunorlan Park.

 

Prior to Race Day, each team is given a basic kart to "pimp up" in any way they like before racing as fast as they can on a zany course round chicanes and over jumps - with the fastest four battling it out in The Grand Final.

 

As well as being keen to help promote the event, Hugh, who grew up in Tunbridge Wells and is studying illustration at London College Of Communication, agreed to take on this weekend’s challenge to satisfy his love for regenerating blank spaces and objects with spray painting while seeing the public’s reaction to his art.

 

Organiser Nicole Piesse Turner, whose PR firm Chatty Hatter will be racing Hugh’s skilfully designed kart down the hair-raising track, said: “We are incredibly honoured to have Hugh decorate our wacky soapbox kart and we can’t wait to see how he works his magic on Saturday.

 

Hugh is one of three graffiti artists known as Paint Mechanics, who have been working with each other independently for over a decade on a range of projects from murals in town centres, schools and cafes, to being hired privately to decorate everything from vehicles to bedrooms.

 

They also run graffiti workshops for a variety of clients, from private to corporate and educational as well as team building events and parties.

 

Organisers of the Crazy Jeans Kart Race, meanwhile, hope the event in its second year will raise tens of thousands pounds again for local charities.

 

TV chef Rosemary Shrager is returning to host the day again alongside star commentator Tom Swift of Wicked Productions.

 

This year funds are being raised for Hospice In The Weald and Taylor Made Dreams, a Crowborough-based charity, which enables children with life-limiting illnesses to achieve their dreams.

 

Aside from the charity race itself, a range of wacky family friendly activities include an inflatable village, a kids cinema, crazy golf zone, a mountain boarding and parkour wall and mini football activities.

 

A huge and varied food and drinks village and VIP tent has also been confirmed.

For more information, tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the Crazy Jean’s Kart Race on Saturday June 8th please visit www.crazyjeansevents.com.

 

To discover more about Hugh Whitaker and the Paint Mechanics team see www.paintmechanics.co.uk

 

  • DJC the Busy Bee

 

We speak to Suzi Mitchell, founder of Taylor Made Dreams in Crowborough, about the important work the charity undertakes:

 

Suzi Mitchell is incredibly passionate about what she does. As the only employed member of staff at children’s charity Taylor Made Dreams – accompanied by a handful of dedicated and valued volunteers – she invests her time and energy in helping young people with life-threatening illnesses achieve their dreams.

“I feel extremely privileged to do what I do,” Suzi tells us. “It’s a healing and rewarding experience working with these families, and it’s a beautiful thing to see Taylor’s legacy bring so much joy.”

In 2008, Taylor Mitchell, aged just 11, was diagnosed with a condition that changed his and his family’s world forever. After four years of fighting, they were informed that the prognosis was terminal, and that he had just two years to live.

Taylor made his own bucket list, and when two friends of the family, Julie Little and Trudy Yardley, heard of it, they began to raise valuable funds to help make it happen. It was while they were fulfilling Taylor’s wishes that Suzi made the decision to set up Taylor Made Dreams, with the goal of doing the same for other children with life-limiting illnesses.

“We’re very lucky to have the support we’ve had so far,” she remarks. “It’s thanks to this that we’ve been able to assist children with establishing and fulfilling a bucket list, provide holistic therapy and counselling to families, offer sheepskin fleeces to help prevent bed sores, commission family portraits, and provide silver, engraved dragonflies to those who devastatingly lose their child.”

 

The locally-based luxury children’s clothing company, Childrensalon, are one of the main sponsors of the charity. At the inaugural Crazy Jean’s Race in 2018, they made the introduction between Taylor Made Dreams and the Crazy Jean’s Events.

“Crazy Jean’s seemed like the perfect match,” says Suzi. “Having attended the event, I saw what a great, family-orientated day it was. It’s the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of what we do. Although we work across Kent, Sussex and Surrey, we’re a very small operation, and getting the word out about what we do is of the upmost importance.”

 

Since the very beginning, British comedian John Bishop has been patron of the charity, after he acquired a place on Taylor’s own bucket list.

John BishopJohn Bishop
John Bishop - Comedian

“John was wonderful with Taylor,” Suzi recalls. “He arranged for him to have a box at his show, and when I told him that his brothers hadn’t joined us, he sent his chauffeur to collect them and bring them to the performance.

“When Taylor passed, I wrote to him asking if he would consider taking on patronage of the charity, and he did. He’s let us collect donations at his shows in Brighton, and he talks about Taylor and the work of the charity during his sets.”

The charity relies heavily on corporate sponsors and public figures. Taylor Made Dreams has been supported by Pure Print since the beginning, been chosen as ‘Charity of the Year’ for Sainsbury’s on Linden Park Road in Tunbridge Wells, and has worked with AXA PPP, CooperBurnett Solicitors and Fidelity International, as well as household names like Rosemary Shrager and David Walliams.

 

“We’re always looking for corporate partners,” adds Suzi. “Having a guaranteed monthly income means we can effectively allocate funds, and continue doing the important work that we do.”

But out of all the families they help, is there one particular moment that has always stuck with Suzi?

“I remember once meeting a young boy, aged seven, to ask what he’d like on his bucket list,” she responds. “He looked up at his mum and said, ‘We don’t need anything, do we, mum?’. After a gentle chat, the little boy asked for some green olives and white chocolate buttons.”

Now, to remind her of a child’s innocence, Suzi keeps two jars of green olives on her desk.

 

If you’re interested in volunteering or becoming a corporate sponsor for Taylor Made Dreams, you can contact Suzi Mitchell at taylormadedreamscio@gmail.com,or by calling 01892 655 533.

  • DJC the Busy Bee

 

Text and image from http://mytunbridgewells.com/event/jack-and-the-beanstalk-panto/

Check it out and have fun with all the family:

 

Wicked Productions return to EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge for the 3rd year, with ‘Jack & the Beanstalk’ from Saturday 15th December, and it promises to be a GIANT of a pantomime.

The whole family can join Jack on his enormous adventure of a lifetime…whose tales begins when he swaps his clueless best friend for a seemingly useless bag of beans-, which soon turns out to be rather more magical than your average can of Heinz! With no choice but to climb the beanstalk and face the evil giant lurking above, will the unlikely hero Jack succeed in a daring rescue, will the Giant’s henchman get his comeuppance or will Jack’s brother Simple Simon and mum Dame Trott scupper his quest to make a fortune?

Back by popular demand, are the hilarious and cheeky comic duo ‘Tom Swift’ and ‘Michael Fenton Stevens’ as Jack and Dame Trott and joining them as Jill is theatre, film and TV actress Kirsty J Curtis.

 

 

You can also expect stunning scenery, costumes, show stopping songs, special effects and most of all…hilarious Fe Fi Fo Fun for all the family! Tickets are on sale now.

When: Saturday 15th December 2018 to Sunday 6th January 2019 Where: E.M.Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School, Tonbridge, TN9 1JP Booking details: Tickets start from £14.00 (with family tickets available) and can be purchased by calling the box office on 01732 304241