Wood-Fest: festival tribute in loving memory of “local legend”

“Uncle Al was more than just an uncle – he was a fantastic friend to all. He would always make time to have a conversation with anyone and always left a lasting impression on all who met him.”

Friends and family members of a “local legend” are raising money for your Air Ambulance for the second year running, at their very own music festival, Wood-Fest.

In 2021, Tom Paynter turned his 30th birthday into a festival for his friends and family. On offer: music, community and a fantastic time. It was a hit. They knew they were on to something.

When one of Tom’s friends sadly lost her life to cancer, leaving behind three young children under the age of 10, they decided to donate the proceeds to her kids.

Uncle Al

In September 2022, Tom’s uncle, Al, suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Basingstoke. Members of our Critical Care Team responded to Al but were unable to save him.

“Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance prolonged his life long enough for loved ones to say their final goodbyes,” said Tom.

“Uncle Al was one of the good ones. He was a true local legend and someone I will always aspire to be like.

“He lives on through the people that loved him and the legacy he has left behind.

“He was massively into rugby and we would regularly go to Cardiff to watch Wales play with the family. He played rugby for Basingstoke and took pride in showing us his rugby injuries – very, very wonky fingers.

Four people stood in front of a HIOWAA gazebo in a field.

“After Al’s illness, we learned that Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance wasn’t funded by the government or the NHS and relies entirely on donations alone. We then knew which charity we wanted to support for future years.

“Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has become a big part of my life now, working throughout the year to plan Wood-Fest and going to their events to build awareness about the cause. It’s amazing how many people they have helped!

“The service they provide for the public is crucial, and we want to help as much as possible to advertise that this is a charity that cannot fly without our donations.

“I know that Alan would be proud of what we are doing.”

Wood-Fest is from 5 – 6 July in Upper Wield, Hampshire.

Buy your tickets today and help support your local Air Ambulance.