MENTAL health charity The Nathan Tomkins Trust is £1,000 better off thanks to musicians at Upton Jazz Festival’s Fringe.

The Fringe, which took place at the Swan Hotel, attracted a record 70 performers from across the country.

Established musicians and up-and-coming stars played alongside dozens of jazz bands in the riverside town for the 34th Upton Jazz Festival.

Hundreds of music fans gathered at the Swan to hear tracks from Upton-born Christian Cox, A Touch of Jazz, who played classics from the great American songbook, and Off Stream, who led the Friday night with a rock and roll party.

They were joined by Hereford-based Sundown Jazz Society, Welsh singer-songwriter Ron Care and multi award-winning Elizabeth Fields, among others.

Jon Parsons, the festival’s marketing manager, said the Fringe was a huge success.

He said: “Seventy absolute stars played at the Fringe, which was all over social media and well-received by the jazz fraternity and locals alike.

“Many people said we made a bold step coming back to town, and that we know how to put on a show. And that’s down to the brilliant musicians who joined us.”

Plans are already in place for the 2020 Fringe, said Mr Parsons, who played saxophone on the Fringe stage.

“We’ll be keeping in touch with everyone who played to support their aspirations and projects.

“Huge thanks to the Trust team and our group of super-stewards.

“We’re absolutely delighted that the Trust raised over £1,000.

“The idea was to raise money and their profile, because if one troubled young person took a flyer and made a call for support, if one concerned parent read a flyer and made a call, well you can’t put a value on that.”

The Trust was set up in 2017 after the suicide of Upton rugby player and ex-Hanley Castle High School pupil Nathan Tomkins, aged 22, who took his own life on Christmas Eve, 2016, after struggling with depression.

Nathan’s family now run the charity and have launched a successful outreach programme for rural youngsters suffering mental health issues.

Jack Tomkins, Nathan’s brother, said: “We’re absolutely delighted the Fringe helped us raise so much money. It’s incredible. The money will go towards the work we do in the community and our suicide prevention workshops which are actively saving lives.

“Massive thanks to the festival organisers for nominating us as their charity and to those music fans who gave so generously.”