A COUPLE is celebrating the fifth anniversary of their festival that raises up to £3,000 for charity each year.

Jill and Paul Del Prete, the organisers of Delfest, are celebrating the 5th anniversary of a festival they created which raises money charities and first 'began' with only a few friends in a gazebo for a birthday party.

"The original Delfest happened for my husband Paul’s 50th birthday, we simply had a gazebo in the field and invited maybe 50 of our friends and family," Jill said.

"The day was a total hit with everyone. We had music, dancing, and instead of birthday presents people donated to Alzheimer’s charity.

"The following year, in 2019 we got married and decided after our small church wedding to have a much bigger festival wedding celebration. This again was in the field and out of our house and garden.

Hexham Courant:

"We had 250 guests this time. We had food, drinks, celhid dancing (provided by our neighbours), live music, games and a raffle. As it was both our second marriages we didn’t need anything in terms of wedding gifts so again our lovely friends and family donated to charities. That year we supported Alzheimer’s, The Childrens Heart Foundation, and  Its Our Day which is a charity that supports young university students with their mental health."

The festival was paused due to Covid in 2020 but was back in 2021 to celebrate the life of a friend the couple knew.

In 2022 and this year, the full-scale party was back so the couple could raise more money for charity. This years theme was special to the couple as it was a tribute to Jill's dad.

She said:"My dad Bill Sleeman lived with this terrible condition for 13 years.

"He was the most amazing person, very clever, hardworking, wicked sense of humor and above all an old fashioned gentleman. Sadly he passed away in November 2022 and was brave enough to donate his brain to Alzheimer’s research a fact we are incredibly proud of.

Hexham Courant: Guests at this years Delfest

"We really want to support Alzheimer’s in the hope that one-day medical science can prevent anyone having to go through this. We want a world where memories that are created can be held forever and for this to happen for so many people it is imperative that a cure for Dementia and Alzheimer’s is found.

"On average each year we raise between £2500 - £3000 apart from the wedding one with raised a staggering £5000. Every single penny goes to charity.

"We would love nothing better than to be able to continue to do this.

"We may call it Delfest (after our name) but it is now so much bigger than us and we appreciate everyone involved in making this a great day out while keeping in our hearts the true nature of raising funds for charity."