GALLERY: Brave Finn, 7, made VIP at Halesowen Carnival as Black Country Festival continues

By Jamie Brassington | Black Country Festival | Published:

A seven-year-old boy with a life-threatening condition was made special guest at a Black Country carnival - which proved a popular hit once again.

Finley Hill with Jaymi Hensley at Halesowen Carnival

Finley Hill, from Belbroughton, was allowed to go on any ride he wanted at Halesowen Carnival.

He suffers with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis and was given VIP treatment as a result.

Finley Hill from Belbroughton was the VIP guest at Halesowen Carnival

The carnival was held on Saturday at Highfield Park. Up to 4,000 people are thought to have attended.

The event returned in 2014 after a 30 year absence, and each year it has proved popular.

Finley's mother Jo, aged 44, said: "He had a wonderful time. He was treated like a VIP and spoilt rotten.

Take a look at our gallery from the weekend:


"Finn was able to have all the ice cream he wanted and go on the fairground rounds."

Another special guest was Jayni Hemsley, who is a member of Union J who rose to fame on the X-Factor. He greeted the crowds on stage and also took time out to meet Finley. There was also two Miss England finalists present who were Alexandra Darby and Charlie Jones.

The event consisted of food stalls, live entertainment and even a dog show. It is free to attend which carnival organiser Stuart Henley says is important, so it can be accessible to all people.

Zuzanna Szczypior in the big deck chair at Halesowen Carnival


He said: "It was a brilliant event but we had a let down with the weather. We had around three to four thousand people turn up, so the turn out wasn't bad."

He continued: "Finn had a great time. He was spoilt all day. Hopefully we can find him a match."

Finley requires a stem cell transplant and his family are trying to find a blood stem cell donor.

Matt Crisp registers as a blood stem cell donor at the DKMS tent

Jo, who campaigns for the blood cancer charity DKMS, got 171 people signed up as new donors at the festival.

She was unable to find a donor match for Finley, but was happy that more people in need of stem cells will benefit.

Just two per cent of the UK are on the stem cell register. Finley has a rare tissue type, which makes finding him a new donor even harder.

Anyone interested in becoming a stem cell donor can visit

Black Country Radio stage at Stourbridge Carnival

The Stourbridge Carnival also took place this weekend as part of this year's Black Country Festival.

The event has been a popular annual event in Stourbridge in the town for decades. Attractions throughout the town centre included a parade, fairground rides, stalls, street entertainers, classic car displays and refreshments.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at


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