News Story

A fundraising concert organised by Oliver and Lisa Wakeman at The Roses has raised an incredible £15,319 for the theatre and local specialist educational needs school, The Milestone School.

On Saturday 22nd June, Rick Wakeman and Oliver Wakeman were joined on stage for the three-hour concert by acclaimed guitarist Gordon Giltrap and talented singer-songwriter Carrie Martin for the “Mile of Roses” concert. Giltrap has previously performed at The Roses independently from the concert making this his return to the venue. Making a special guest appearance, and continuing his family’s legacy, was Arthur Wakeman, Oliver and Lisa’s son and Rick’s grandson.

Further highlights of the evening included a raffle, containing over 40 individual prizes; an auction, featuring a limited-edition guitar generously donated by Vintage Guitars; and two limited edition signed prints, by acclaimed illustrator Rodney Matthews.

Organised by Lisa Wakeman, the raffle and auction alone raised almost £2,500 for the two charities. Following a highly successful inaugural event last year named Rick Wakeman & Friends: The Other Coronation Concert, the Wakemans kindly offered to widen the fundraising reach and include The Roses Trust as one of its beneficiaries, recognising the venue’s impact on the community and centre of culture for the borough.

Every penny from tickets sold went towards the fundraising total, with The Roses providing the venue free of charge. All talented performers generously gave their time. The Milestone school is an outstanding specialist education setting based in Gloucestershire. They are committed to providing their pupils with a high-quality education tailored to their individual needs. The Roses has collaborated with the school on previous creative education projects for children with specialist educational needs.

Oliver Wakeman, who organised and performed at the concert, said: “The event was a huge success last year, we enjoyed it so much that at the end my father, Rick, turned to me and said we should do this again!

Ed Turnill, of Milestone School, said: "Last year's event was a tremendous success and this a step further. We are so fortunate to have talent of this calibre on our team. The Milestone School are indebted to Rick, Oliver, Carrie, Gordon and Arthur for giving their time and rare talent; the Roses Theatre for hosting; and of course, Lisa Wakeman, for her determination to bring the event together."

The Roses would like to thank Rick Wakeman, his family and all performers who donated their time. With special thanks to Typecraft for printing the programme, Tewkesbury Park for their generously discounted accommodation and all those who donated prizes to the raffle.

Image credit: Jeff Cooper