Sunday, October 09, 2011

Let's get the Party Started! Olympics 2012

Yesterday afternoon I went to a public meeting and workshops at the old Town Hall in Stratford designed to encourage Newham residents to self organise community events and celebrations to mark the 2012 Olympics.

There was about 100 people at this meeting and 150 at the one held in the morning.  Newham Elected Mayor, Sir Robin Wales spoke first and reminded us the 2012 Olympics is a once in a life time event.  We will never hold the Olympics in Newham again in our lifetime so we need to get the most out of it. 

Next was a fantastic song sung by Newham Talent winner Tanyel Hassan.  Followed by Newham residents speaking about their experiences organising very successful Street Parties to celebrate the Royal Wedding of  William and Katie earlier this year.   It was inspiring to hear their stories of what they and their communities achieved  with a little help from the Council.  They lived  in streets beforehand in which they did not know their neighbours but the Royal Wedding Party had transformed their street into a community. 

After this there was a superb "Bollywood" display by 4 dancers who happened to be Asian, Black, Chinese and White.  Followed by a panel Q&A on the nuts and bolts of organising an event.  Then there were specialist stalls manned by Council officers and Community volunteers. The Council will give advice and support for Street Parties and you could also apply for a grant of £250 as seed money.  However, the important thing is that the Council will not organise the event for you but will help the community to organise themselves.

I will admit that I am a bit of an old cynic at times about such things but this event really did inspire me.  So find out more here and let's get the party started!
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