Crystal Palace Festival raising money to help young people affected by the pandemic find employment and performance opportunities

By Alexandra Causer

Festival organisers have launched a fundraising appeal to support local young people impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The coordinators of Crystal Palace Festival hope to lessen the pandemic’s impact on young people though fundraising for the Creative Futures project.

The project will support up to 150 young people from three Crystal Palace housing estates – Kingswood, St Hugh’s and Central Hill.

Creative Futures will provide opportunities for young people from the housing estates to work with professional artists to improve their well-being and learn new skills.

Crucially, it aims to help them find employment and performance opportunities, including becoming part of the new South Facing Festival in Crystal Palace Park.

Young dancers at the 2019 Crystal Palace Festival. Credit: Mike Jones.

Festival director Noreen Meehan, 51, said: “It has become obvious that the pandemic is having a disproportionately negative effect on some people’s lives, not least young people.

“The realisation of this led us to spend some time this year speaking with local young people as we thought that they might need our help more than ever now.

“It was heart-breaking to hear how much they feel they have not been listened to during the pandemic and yet their education and future chances in life are being so badly affected.

“We want to help them have some fun and learn new skills this summer with our Creative Futures project.”

Ms Meehan and her team have already secured £1,500 in funding for the project from local businesses.

Market Director of Vita Health Group Ishmael Beckford said: “Vita Health Group are really excited to be able to support this great event, delivered in the community we serve.

“After the challenging last year, it is activities like this that really help it feel like we are getting back to normal.

“We are really looking forward to what is going to be an amazing arts and culture showcase.”

PHOTO 2: Rappers AR and Kenzo at the live streamed Crystal Palace Festival 2020. Credit: Ian Macaulay.

Other local organisations supporting the campaign are Martin & Co. Crystal Palace, Bambino, Urban Cellar, Four Boroughs and The Childhood Trust.

The festival charity team now needs to secure a further £3,000 in donations to be able to deliver the project.

To donate visit the festival website during the week of The Big Give from June 8-16:

Pictured top: The Crystal Palace Bowl where the South Facing Festival will be held



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