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Fundraising stories 2,237 views Aug 11, 2016
He who controls the dancefloor, controls the world

James  Ellis, a young rapper from Nottingham who was born with cerebral palsy, has a dream to perform at Bestival… and you could help him get there!

The 26-year-old has been offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to play a 30 minute set at the popular four day music festival which draws a 60,000 strong crowd to the Isle of Wight.

The offer came direct from festival founder Rob Da Bank after a campaign film which James made with Fixers, the charity which gives young people a voice, was tweeted to the renowned DJ.

Bestival organisers are paying for James’ return ferry trip across the Solent but James is looking to fund the rest of the 420 mile round trip to play a set on September 9th.

He needs to raise £855.20 to cover travel, including hiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle and one night’s accommodation for himself and a small team of three who will drive, support and care for him.

In James’ poignant film, called ‘Self Belief’, James – who cannot walk unaided and uses a wheelchair - says he pushes himself to achieve challenging goals because he is determined not to be held back by his disabilities.

James says: “When I step out of my comfort zone, I do think people are going to judge me. I’m the guy in a wheelchair, I’m going to be seen as different. But when I’m on stage rapping, whether it’s for one song for three minutes or six songs for 25 minutes, I’m free for that amount of time.

I’m no longer the guy in the wheelchair. I’m the guy that’s rapping. The biggest dream that I would like to achieve is to play Bestival in my wheelchair.

He who controls the dancefloor, controls the world!”

You can watch James’ film here

James says: "Having the opportunity to perform at Bestival shows that anything is possible with the right amount dedication and self-belief. I really hope people in Nottingham will support me to create a moment in history I’ll never forget."

Adding: I think a lot of disabled people don’t have confidence in themselves. It’s always important to have an end goal, even if it’s very small. My disability has never held me back. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside – what matters is your passion on the inside.”

James’ local Member of Parliament, Graham Allen MP, commented: “This is a fantastic and deserving cause. James has demonstrated that having a disability does not mean you can’t participate in life to the full. I would urge everyone to donate whatever they can to help James perform at Bestival and make his dream a reality.”

You can listen to James’ music here.

Donate to James' campaign today:

If James raises more than his target, funds will be used to support other young people to have the opportunity to become a Fixer and campaign on issues they feel strongly about.

The charity has helped more than 19,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.


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