Chasing away the winter blues!

New recruit - Eamonn Lorimer with wife Clare and stepdaughter Saffron

WinterFest’s newest recruit settles in to Brightlingsea

A DJ who swapped stressful city life for the benefits of living in Brightlingsea has proved he is completely in tune with the town’s WinterFest.

Eamonn Lorimer, also known as “DJ Looney,” has become the latest volunteer for WinterFest, Brightlingsea’s annual festival of music, arts and spoken word.

On Saturday, March 12, he will be part of a great day of music and laughter for WinterFest, staging a Rum and Reggae night at Brightlingsea Regent FC Clubhouse, starting at 8pm.

Earlier in the evening, comedians from Wivenhoe Funny Farm will be at The Rosebud pub from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

The event will help achieve WinterFest’s aims of raising community spirit, bringing people together and showcasing local talent.

Moving to Brightlingsea from East London in December last year has been life changing for Eamonn, his wife Clare and his 18-year-old stepdaughter Saffron.

“We are very grateful to our neighbours and everyone for the welcome we have been given in Brightlingsea, which has been so warm and friendly,” he said. “It feels like a safe place to live and everything we need is within reach.

“Where we used to live there were a lot of problems in the community. As chairman of the residents’ association, I was involved in trying to tackle some of the ongoing issues. When Covid came along, the city was not a good place to be.

“Once agile working became a possibility, I decided, with my family, it was time to move.”

Eamonn, who is 57, says he is a “glass half full” person and his resilience helped get him through a diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer.

He is keen for men to talk about health issues and says: “I am open about it and I want people to know that they are not alone.”

Working for a social housing association in Lambeth, Eamonn is responsible for its employability programme, which includes apprenticeships, internships and work experience.

He is passionate about helping people to take up opportunities and reach their potential.

“It is good to feel that what you are doing can make a difference to people’s lives,” he said.

On the days when he does have to work in London, Eamonn is delighted to return to Brightlingsea.

“It is such a nice place to come home to. You can really appreciate nature and the fresh air. A walk in Brightlingsea can put things in perspective,” he said.

Eamonn is a former mentor with the Prince’s Trust and has had wide experience in the diplomatic service, education and local government.

He says the more recent changes in his working life have enabled him to do what he wants to do.

“I used to be a DJ when I was a kid and, when I decided to change my career, I was able to go back to being a DJ. I really love it and the music brings a lot of fun into people’s lives.

“When I came to Brightlingsea and heard about WinterFest I thought it was a great thing, so I am more than happy to get involved.”

© Brightlingsea WinterFest
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