On June the 12th, the Salmon Youth Centre was involved with the Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Carnival in Southwark Park. Following on from the success of last year’s involvement, we were given a big plot of land which enabled us to organise a varied programme for the public.
A few of us met at 9:30am to start loading the van in preparation for the long day ahead. We needed to be completely set up and ready to go by 12:00pm. Myself and certain other staff were involved with this set up, but much thanks to our young people Scott and Michael for their hard work, they were a huge help.
The day was a team effort! It needed to be as we were offering lots of activities:
- Information stool – This was a great opportunity to tell more young people about who we are and give them leaflets and information about clubs.
- Disability crafts stool – not only could the public buy the work of some of our club members but they were also able to design their own clothing and bags... well done disability club.
- Chill area – This gave families somewhere to sit and chat whilst their children got involved with some table tennis and football.
- Slow bike race – This has been hugely successful in the past... it requires a young person to ride a bike over a ten metre stretch as slow as they possibly can. The slowest time at the end of the day won a bike! Well done to this year’s winner Aaron.
- Face painting – the face painters did a fabulous job with particular thanks to Mary who organised all the paints and posters. I am not certain how many faces were painted that day but it must have been near 100 ranging from England flags to Tigers. The queue was massive! So much so that we had to cap it an hour before the end of the carnival to make sure we could go home that night.
- Health stop – Jess, our health worker, put a stool together offering food tasting, BMI checks and information about sexual health and drug misuse. This was a nice addition to the programme showing the public the extent of what we can offer at Salmon, and as you can imagine the free food tasting attracted a lot of people.
- Sports – Our sports team took advantage of Southwark games' running track for one hour leading running races for all ages. This looked lots of fun and some great photos were taken.
- Dance - Godiva and her dance group SCAD took over the ball room blitz stage for half an hour, the group performed brilliantly in front of a big crowd which followed with a dance class for all to get involved with. From this taster lots of young people and parents came to our information stool wanting to sign up to clubs at Salmon.
- Danceaid – This is an organisation I was able to team up with to deliver DJ and mixing lessons in our marquee along with the help of two Salmon workers. Young people were able to make their own track which was put on a CD for them to keep. Unbelievably 450 young people came through their doors that day! That’s 450 young people that got to hear about The Salmon Youth Centre. Danceaid have been leading six weeks of sessions in our 10 – 13 clubs since, which enabled young people from the carnival to carry on their learning here at Salmon.
The carnival was a big opportunity for us as a centre not only for outreach but to show the community we are here to serve the needs of young people. The day was a lot of fun and a big success, it is definitely something we will continue to be involved with in the future.