Tag Archives: festival

London Carers Festival 2019

IMG_20190921_133155Do you know that if you are a carer, then you are doing something not only for your ‘cared for’, but also for the community. Caring for someone when life can be difficult for yourself should be celebrated. Thats why London ADASS, which stands for Directors of Adult Social Services aimed to put on a festival for carers. The aim of London ADASS is to improve adult social care across London and to identify ways of doing this as cost-effectively as possible.

The festival was developed and brought together by many other carer organisations who help plan and run the festival. The first London borough to have the Carer’s festival was the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Eventually each London borough will have the honor of running the festival each year.

The festival took place on Saturday the 21st of September over at the Bromley by Bow Centre on a lovely warm sunny day. We expected well over 500 to attend and join in on the community spirit. I arrived just around the start of the festival to be given a tour by one of the stewards who was friendly and approachable. The festival was split up in 9 zones and I explored all of each zone.

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The first Zone could be heard some distance away, because that was the DJ with also stage performances. The next Zone was the Crazy gold area where families and unpaid carers could relax and take their mind off things. We also had in Zone 3 the food stalls, which were amazingly cheap in prices. I actually bought myself a burrito.

The next Zone, being Zone 4 was the eating area where I relaxed and did some reading off my mobile phone, while also chatting to another host at the event. Eventually I explored Zone 5 where there were stalls helping to raise the awareness of unpaid carers in the community. I visited the Carers UK stall. Then moved on to the Stall hosted by Havering Carers Hub and another stall from Carers of Barking & Dagenham.

Here is some more information from the stalls I visited.

https://www.adass.org.uk/
https://www.carersuk.org/
http://www.haveringcarershub.org.uk/
https://carers.org/
http://www.carerscentre.org.uk/

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Eventually I wandered into the Barn Area, which was Zone 6 and I was greated by the carer facilitator who runs the Carer forums over in Croydon. She also helps run carer support groups and educational carer awareness events, so I was surprised to see her at the Carers festival helping out.

I took the time to join in some Arts and Crafts which was run by ‘Carers First’. Carers First provide information, advice, guidance, emotional support, training and activities. They also help give carers an opportunity to have a break from their caring role. They charity covers a wide area including Kent & Medway, Newham, Waltham Forest, Haringey, Essex and Lincolnshire. I was amazed at the work they do and how accommodating they were in helping others join in the activities.

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In Zone 7 was the community hall which had performances going on through the day. Plus Zone 8 was the quiet area and Zone 9 being the first aid and Disabled facilities.

So what events took place while I was there? I took some to listen to the music and poetry from Sarifa who is a carer champion and activist who campaigns on disability rights. I noticed there was some laughter therapy going on at the festival, but at the time I was still exploring what was going on.

It was great that some members from the carer forums I run also turned up the the festival and I hope some will update the group next Tuesday over in Lewisham. The festival pulled in much the community spirit and it was great to watch the Royal Air force Cadets doing their drills and helping out at the festival.

https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/

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Later on at the festival we got to hear from the Islington Council Singers, which are a choir that have been around for many years. We also got a dance act from disabled ladies from the Muskaan group. The group was formed around in the early 1990’s and focuses on empowerment and personal development. While watching the group, i was inspired to explore a stall promoting the ‘Asian People’s Disability Alliance’. They provide support and services for disabled and elderly in Asian communities as we know Tower Hamlets is a diverse area.

You can check out their link below.

https://apda.org.uk/

I could not stay on for the rest of the festival since it started at 12:00 noon and finished around 5 or 6 pm. I did hear there was more poetry and choir groups, plus I missed a chance at Zumba and other discussions at Zone 7.

All in All, i enjoyed spending time at the first Festival dedicated to carers and also the community. Unpaid Carers do a lot for who they are emotionally attached to, it is about time carers are celebrated as being part of the community.

Thanks for ‘Carers First’ for providing some pictures.  Check out more about Carers First Link below.

https://www.carersfirst.org.uk/

Thanks for stopping by!!

My visit to the Lewisham Peoples Day 2015

Every summer the London Borough of Lewisham holds its Lewisham Peoples day.  The festival takes place over at Mountsfield Park and lasts most of the day.

So for Lewisham Peoples day 2015, I wanted to try and blog about the festival, although mainly about the Mental Health and Well-Being angle, which is what I was interested in.

people logo

As a member of the Lewisham Mental Health Connection, I spent some time at their stall talking to staff and volunteers.  The weather was lovely, I did not notice any trouble and people were friendly.  It was a great day out, but I coming from a mental health and well-being background, it was not long before I checked out the other stalls at the festival.

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Happy Heads event 2014 review

Welcome back to another of my mental health and wellbeing event reviews. This next event I have been personally involved in helping to arrange with at least some of my ideas.

Happy Heads Festival

The event was on the 26th of July 2014 and it was aimed at young people to explore, learn and connect on expressing their views on wellbeing and mental health.  The event was held over at the Maudsley Learning Center, which is a venue over in the London borough of Southwark that hosts wellbeing events, meetings and workshops.

I have written a blog post that led up to the Happy Heads event, which can be viewed here.

I have also made a 22 minute video about my visit to the Happy Heads festival. Feel free to watch the video below.

Going back to the blog post how did the event work out on the day?  To be honest although I can give my views, I feel it would be great that a young person who attended the event should give their views on how they felt the event went.

happy heads Review

My main view of the event was that the event lived up to its expectations and more, but engaging with young people on health and wellbeing cannot be done with just a festival alone, but this festival was a great start and was certainly well attended.

When I arrived for the event, I ended up volunteering to help out at the Timebanking UK stalls.   I talked to a few people on what it means to giving your time and skill in order to help others.  Infact the Happy Heads event was centered around five themes being

Being Active
Connecting
Giving
Learning
and finally “taking notice”

Wellbeing Themes

The Timebanking UK sections was on the “Giving” theme.  I got creative in that zone and built one of my main talent in which I can help others.  That talent was on computer skills, which was placed in the “Suitcase of Talent”.

The next part of the festival which I visited was the “Being Active” zone, where I spoke to several fitness instructors on the benefits of being active.

Being Active

Soon I arrived in a colorful and comfortable room facilitated by “IamGreeds”. Feel free to visited his site.  Basically the poet was hoping some young people can express what wellbeing means to them using spoken word, which was read out on the free mic session later on at the festival.

Another section I visited was the Mindfull Fun Fair zone, this area was linked to the “Taking Notice” zone.  I spoke to the stall holders about why it is so important to be mindful and be aware of how we treat others or how others treat us.  The stall holders were from Mindfull, which is an online support, information and advice about mental health and emotional wellbeing aimed at young people.

Mindful Fun Fair Host

Another stall holder at the Mindfull Fun Fair zone was representing the “beatbullying” organisation.  He gave me a run down on how bullying affects young people and why the beatbullying campaign was set up to tacking bullying.

Beat Bullying Stall holder 20140726_122018

Soon it wasn’t long before I got my creative energies following and I wandered into the DJ mixing room, which had quite an impressive array of sets placed in the room and excellent DJ equipment.  Mixing and scratching the records actually made me feel quite young again.

DJ Mixer

The music mixing zone was set up by RAW Sounds.  Raw Sounds is a programme of creative media sessions for people accessing mental health services.  Feel free to visit their site here.

One of the most impressive displays I noticed was actually situated at the basement level of the Maudsley Learning Center.  This section was being used by the YoungMinds Vs project.  YoungMinds vs has been set up to tackle School stress, bullying, sexual pressure, and lack of jobs for young people.  I had a great time talking to teenagers at this particular section of the festival on why they feel mental health and wellbeing awareness is important for many in the community.

YoungMinds Vs YoungMinds Vs Displays

There are other videos from the Happy Heads festival which I thought to help advertise, feel free to check out those videos as well.