Kenny Fest celebrates life of Hartlepool mum-of-three Nicola Kenny

Dozens of people turned out to celebrate the life of a Hartlepool mum who died tragically young and support the hospice which cared for her.

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 4:39 pm

She was just 43.

Nicola, who was a teaching assistant at St Bega's Primary School and member of the bar staff at Hartlepool United, was a passionate hospital campaigner with the Save Our Hospital and Fighting 4 Hartlepool Hospital groups.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

'Kenny Fest' crowds outside the pub

Covid restrictions in place at the time meant her devoted family were not able to give her the send off they and she had planned.

But Kenny Fest, a celebration of her life, was held on Saturday - what would have been her 44th birthday – featuring live bands and singers on stage, great food and children’s entertainment.

The event, held in and around The Pot House pub on the Headland, featured live music to mark Nicola’s love of going to festivals with kids Kaleb, 24, Joel, 21, and 11-year-old Zac.

Headliners Eli played music from the likes of Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, The Jam and more, while the line up also featured local singer songwriter Charlotte Grayson performing her new single and rising Hartlepool musician Michael Gallagher, fresh from The Isle of Wight Festival.

Nicola Kenny

Liverpool band RATS and another local band Leopard Rays also performed.

There was street food on offer and carnival rides to entertain the children, while Hartlepool Carnival provided the stage and sound system.

Kaleb said the family had been delighted with how the day had gone, adding: "Everything went as much according to plan as it could have done and the weather was really good – you don’t really expect that kind of sunshine at the back end of September,” he said.

"One of mum’s friends was the DJ, so he was playing all the old songs she used to like.

Nicola's mum Jackie Cameron (right) and friend Christine Dee.

"And there was a good turn-out. We had just over 200 people there. It went really well.”

The event was free but collections were held for for Alice House Hospice which cared for Nicola.

Kaleb added: “We don’t know how much we raised yet but we had five buckets out and people were being very generous, so we hope it will be a good amount.”

Support your Mail and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to all of our news and sport, see

Some of the staff of St Bega's School, who worked with Nicola

fewer ads, experience faster load times, test your brain with daily puzzles and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. The Hartlepool Mail has been in town since 1877, and your support means we can continue telling your stories for generations to come. Click here to subscribe.

Charlotte Grayson entertaining the crowd
Dressed for the occasion are twins Annabel and Chloe Gleaves (7)
Emmie-Lou Kirby, six, of Middlesbrough, enjoys a fair ride