Nicky Lavender writes about how her family have supported Tonic, and how she introduced us to our long-standing patron Barry Ashworth.
Nicky, her husband Andy and her son Ted have been involved with Tonic from the very beginning. Sadly, Andy died a year ago. This is Nicky's story.
Our involvement with Tonic started with their very first gig at the Pyramids in 2012, with Ted being asked to play as one of the DJs. Ted was about 13 years old. Andy, Ted and I were introduced to Steph, who spoke to us about her hopes and dreams for Tonic. We were immediately drawn in by her passion, with both Andy and I having suffered with our own mental health issues. In Steph, we found a new friend that day.
When the next large gig at the Pyramids was being planned, we got into a conversation about bands and the Dub Pistols were mentioned. We had met Barry Ashworth (founder of Dub Pistols) previously through Ted’s DJing, and so I put him in touch with Tonic. As always, they put on an amazing show, but more importantly, Barry has continued his involvement with Tonic ever since. Barry Ashworth is now a Tonic Patron.
I will never forget the day of Ted’s 16th birthday when he came downstairs saying that Steph had asked him to do a skydive, and that he had said yes! I managed to take my mind off of the fact that ‘my baby’ was jumping out of a plane by involving myself with the fundraising. Ted raised over £1200 for that jump. He has since taken part in another jump, and in April 2019 Ted put on a fundraiser of his own with all proceeds going to Tonic. This event will always be so important to us, as it was the last time Andy went out and saw friends before dying very unexpectedly in May 2019.
In the months after losing Andy I found comfort in spending time at Tonic HQ with Steph, where I was able to talk about and process what had happened to our family, and I thank Steph for that.