A FORMER Dorset Echo reporter is making the news as she organises a music festival for charity.

Freelance music journalist Laura Williams is putting together an event this month as a way of saying thank you to the organisation which supported her cousin as she fought cancer.

Alice Rist, 22, from Weymouth, a former Budmouth College student, has since recovered from her illness.

Laura aims to raise £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support whose nurses helped Alice.

The 499-capacity Figure 8 Festival will be held in the grounds of the True Lovers Knot pub at Tarrant Keyneston, near Blandford, over the weekend September 21-23.

Organisations are helping by giving services and products for free – and Laura invites any other firms interested in supporting the festival to contact her.

The event will include bands, DJs, games, children’s entertainment, bars, barbecue, hog roast, vegetarian food, art auction, raffle and more. It will also support Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning by holding an event.

Laura, who is 30, and lives in Bristol with her husband Richard Hogg, another former Dorset Echo reporter, said: “After years of festival going, I decided to organise this charity event to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, which really helped my 22-year-old cousin with her cancer battle earlier this year.

“Thankfully she’s gotten through and is now enjoying a new lease of life in Weymouth, but she couldn’t have done it without the support of family and friends and the Macmillan Cancer nurses.”

She added: “With a top musical line-up and the Indian summers we’ve been having, this event should prove the perfect way to end the summer.”

Music comes from top Bristol bands as well as Dorset groups including The Mother Ukers, Disco’s Out (Murder’s In), Jinder C, and Weymouth’s own Tom Caulfield.

Topping the bill is Northampton’s My First Tooth, who played at last year’s Glastonbury Festival, and skiffle covers band Thrill Collins.

There will also be a secret headliner and a ‘silent disco’ will be held after hours.

Entry to the event requires a wristband, which can be obtained with a minimum donation of £15 (£5 for children) to the Figure 8 Festival Just Giving page justgiving.com/figure8. Camping and parking is available, priced £5 and £10 respectively.

For details see figure8festival.co.uk