Our inaugural event took place in June 2019 in collaboration with Ulverston International Music Festival


We created a trail bursting with music, song, poetry, meditation and dance from the coastal village of Bardsea to Swarthmoor Hall, via Birkrigg Common & Swarthmoor Hall Wood. We also held preparatory sessions throughout the year at Mind in Furness for service users & volunteers & began the route with a fair of stands to showcase local wellbeing organisations.

The event was free for all; we emphasised that no-one should be put off attending due to financial reasons. We also provided a free transport service from Ulverston. However, donations were encouraged to the mental health charity Mind. Our suggested donation was £10 and all money raised was split between our two local branches: Mind In Furness & Ulverston Mind.  

We were thrilled to raise a total of £5796.75 (with GiftAid). 

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There were 120 walkers, 20 local & London-based professional classical & folk musicians, one of whom was the internationally renowned concert pianist Martin Roscoe, as well as a newly formed Mind Choir, Furness Music Centre Community Choir, the cognitive behavioural therapist Rufus Harrington and other speakers we literally found on route in our preparations.  All gave their time and skills on a voluntary basis. Hampstead Parish Church, where Jess is the regular alto kindly released their professional choir for the day & were also extremely generous in their donations to our chosen branches of Mind. Everyone, performers & participants, walked together.  Those with reduced mobility were provided with a minibus service & people were free to take part in as much or as little of the day as they liked.  

Stewarding was primarily & generously provided by The Rotary Club of Furness Peninsula, assisted by FurnessBarrow & Ulverston Rotary Clubs.  Refreshments were provided by Inner Wheel & staff at Swarthmoor Hall.  We were greatly helped in our logistical planning by Furness Peninsula Rotarian John McGill, also of BeWellFest. 

SongPath is hugely grateful to the Royal Overseas League’s Roderick Lakin Professional Development Award and other private donations, without which our first event would not have been possible. SongPath 2019 was held in memory of Roderick Lakin, MBE, the organisation’s beloved former Director of Arts who died tragically in 2015. The Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) is a not-for-profit private members’ organisation dedicated to championing international friendship and understanding. They help artists and musicians across the Commonwealth connect, collaborate and create. In addition to their financial aid, ROSL, and particularly their current Director of Arts Geoff Parkin provided mentoring to Jess in the run-up to June’s event. She also benefited from invaluable administrative help from her agent, Hazard Chase Artists Management, Ulverston International Music Festival & Mind in Furness.