Backup Tech, a charity that provides financial support to industry technical professionals, crew and production personnel said it is expanding its annual Kartfest event to incorporate a focus on wellness and mental health support.
The event, which is due to take place at Sandown Park on 6 July, will for the first time take on a traditional British village fete theme and offer a range of activity beyond the usual karting.
The charity’s vice chair Lee Dennison, who is also Creative Technology head of marketing and client services, said that among the new areas will be a wellbeing hub, with mental health support now being Backup’s priority.
“The space we are creating is to showcase the services and support out there for us, but also act as a hub to share stories and initiatives from the industry,” said Dennison. “We will also provide an ‘Orchard’ space to bring people together and provoke conversation and engagement from the industry.”
The Wellbeing Hub will be hosted by Music Support, Backup, Music industry Therapsist and Lions Barber Collective; a group of international barbers who raise awareness for mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. Backup is inviting companies and their own mental health leaders to get involved.
Dennison said, “This year’s Kartfest isn’t just about the racing, it really has got something for everyone. It’s a great opportunity to bring together the organisations who are driving the mental health initiative, along with the in-house individuals in companies supporting it. This is an industry crying out to be trained and be part of the front line that will make it a place where people know their wellbeing is looked after.”
Dennison said Yutree insurance is sponsoring a “Next Gen” scheme to match make 30 young people coming into the industry to mentors for the day, and run speed networking and identity/brand sessions.
Delivered in partnership with headline sponsor, lighting specialist Chauvet, the event will also include cake bake competition, fete games, a flight case relay around the track, food stalls, craft beers and music.
Among the more than 30 companies due to attend are Unusual Rigging, Creative Technology, Showforce, ESGlobal, Tait, Brit Row, Audia Technica and Event Cycle.