Trust Thamesmead worked in partnership with Thamesmead Youth Voice to deliver an International Youth Day Celebration at Woolwich Polytechnic last Friday, 12 August 2011.
The day, which attracted more than 100 young people, was officially opened by the Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor Jim Gillman and offered a range of free activities including skateboarding, basketball, bike polo, zumba, football, DJ workshops, table-tennis and a Total Wipe Out-style eliminator. Everyone who participated in three activities or more were also invited to take part in the day's ‘after show party' featuring music and a BBQ.
One Thamesmead resident, 15 year old Saynab Sufi even learnt to cycle during the day. “I don't have time to learn how to ride a bike but the cycle school took time out to show me how. It wasn't hard, I literally learnt within 10 minutes!
“All my friends cycle to school and I will ask if I can have a bike so I can do it too - it's the healthiest way to travel.”
Councillor Jim Gillman said: “Today's event has been good fun and shows the other side of young people. Thamesmead Youth Voice together with Trust Thamesmead have put in a lot of time, effort and enthusiasm to make this happen.
“Looking around at the different activities on offer today, that aren't usually available, also confirms there should be a lot more facilities for young people in the community.”
Thamesmead Youth Voice member, 16 year old Tahlia Williamson, said “Putting together our International Youth Day celebration was good fun and really interesting. We came up with so many ideas and got to make decisions about was going to be here.
“The day was a huge success and gave young people the opportunity to not only connect with others but try new activities too. I really enjoyed the street football, zumba and Total Wipe Out-style eliminator.”
The Trust's Community Development Manager, Janice Jones said: “Despite the negative activities which made the headlines earlier in the week and which threatened our event with cancellation, International Youth Day proved a great success. More than 120 young people took part; many of whom enjoyed new challenges and experiences never before available in Thamesmead.
“Fearing for their safety, some parents kept their young people away, but the day went without incident and it was good to see young people getting involved with positive activities and not being deterred by the negativity of others.”
When we spoke to the Mayor's office on Monday, they said the Mayor returned from our International Youth Day celebration full of life and hope for the future, after what had been a very difficult week.
Check out our photo album to see photos taken on the day.
See the press coverage regarding this event: Bexley Times