By Graham Baker, town council youth development worker.
In recent years, the Bradley Stoke Community Festival has seen our town council youth work team and local young people work together to organise an extremely successful two-day package of activities.
Saturday saw the return of our popular street art workshops and the King Ramps skate half-pipe, with ‘have-a-go sessions’ and pro rider demos throughout the day. Strong winds presented an initial challenge setting up, especially building our 8ft x 16ft art wall, however, once up, the wall offered a useful windbreak for our art workshop activities.
The art workshops involved children and young people painting a 4ft x 2ft board with the support of professional artists, youth workers and volunteers, and the queues soon started to build. Due to demand we continued until 6pm and, sadly, still had to turn people away. However, about 70 participants happily returned home clutching their original works of art.
Meanwhile, spectators gathered for regular pro rider demos on the half-pipe with popular ‘have a go’ ride sessions for local young people. In addition, we promoted our usual youth work activities, but the gusty winds prevented our usual displays.
On Sunday, we relocated to the skate park with the skate half-pipe being set up alongside the park to provide important extra capacity. Soon, about 60 competitors, many accompanied by their family and friends, started to arrive and sign up for the competitions. There were more pro rider demos with the park open for use in between the competition runs. A circus skills workshop entertained and engaged not only the younger children, but older teenagers as well. Competitions were organised for all age categories and skate park disciplines (BMX, scooter and skateboard).
We kicked off with the extremely busy junior scooter competition and managed to complete two rounds of runs before the rain descended. At first, we were hopeful that the rain would clear, and we could squeegee the park dry; unfortunately, though, the rain set in and eventually we had to call off the competition. There was disappointment all round, but we are looking to organise another skate competition soon.
If you are a young person living in Bradley Stoke aged 11 to 19 who would like to find out more about our various youth activities or events, please contact Graham Baker on 07900 253826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in volunteering or our soon-to-be-advertised part-time youth work jobs, please also use the above contact to discuss further.
Photos: 1 Participants in the junior scooter category of the skate park competition. 2 Young people taking part in the street art workshop.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 22). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
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