Heathtown Carnival - Local History in the making
This was a new event, the charity I was working for had allocated funds for the year and I did not want to wait another year to get the event off the ground.
As a Project Worker I already had good relations with local families and believed that by using the arts we could help bring people together in a communal project.
Using a series of creative workshops we were able to start to develop strong relationships between families who on a daily basis had few reasons to converse and interact with each other.
Bringing in a colleague together we ran a volunteers training workshop enabling local volunteers to then take a lead in the community workshops. During these creative sessions which were open to the whole community, we taught children and young people the art of building willow sculptures, banner making and creating percussion instruments.
As the workshops ran over a two week period during the summer holidays it was essential we had enough volunteers to channel the children's energy in the right direction.
I went into local schools and youth clubs and visited organisations who work with children and families. As a major factor in this project, it was essential to promote the carnival workshops amongst a diverse range of individuals and groups. I engaged with organisations from the private, statutory and voluntary sectors and faith and non faith based groups working with all ages and cultures.
When asked if I ever doubted the success of the final event, my answer "yes when I woke up at 4am the night before in a cold sweat!" I so wanted it all to go well, everyone had worked extremely hard and ultimately I wanted people to see and believe in their efforts and feel proud of all they had done.
The following morning as people started to arrive I could feel an energy brewing, there was a fantastic sense of excitement in the air. As more and more people came into the hall to claim their creations to carry during the procession, I realised this was local history in the making. The pictures tell the story and the smiles on everyone's faces.
Read my Westhill Endowment funding Application.