Opinion: Festivals and our pride in young people

PUBLISHED: 08:30 27 July 2019

Council leader Darren Rodwell is celebrating the borough's 4th Summer of Festivals. Picture: JON KING

Council leader Darren Rodwell is celebrating the borough's 4th Summer of Festivals. Picture: JON KING


With schools out for summer, there’s loads on offer for young people and families here in Barking and Dagenham. There are events and activities across the borough – there truly is something for everyone.

Our borough's diversity is one of our greatest strengths, and we've shown that yet again with our 4th Summer of Festivals. Last weekend families turned out in Parsloes Park for the family favourite, our One Borough Festival, and to see some of borough's new talent the Roundhouse Music Festival.

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Through our Summer of Festivals programme this year we've been sharing the stories of residents from all walks of life, who are all inspiring in their own way. I'd encourage readers to check these out on our One Borough Live video channel, and to share your own stories with #thisisme. I've been particularly inspired by some of the young people who've been doing amazing things in Barking and Dagenham. And our young people are at the heart of everything we do. It's been fantastic to see the response to the opening of the Future Youth Zone, which since being opened by Prince Harry in May has had over 20,000 visitors - with over 4,000 young people now signed up.

It's excellent to see that these state-of-the-art facilities are being well used. The Youth Zone is open every day of the week, with a special summer activities laid on too. The Youth Zone reflects our aspiration to give our borough's young people the best start in life, and I'd like to thank all the staff and volunteers who have made it such a success so far.

I'm looking forward to joining these young people, and many youth groups, at the next Youth Parade on September 22, celebrating the immense talent and contribution of our young people and the groups they are a part of. Please come along and line the streets to cheer them on.

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