Preston Guild 2012 - YPS and Partners make an impression
The Young People's Service (YPS) was involved with Partners in two of the major Guild processions:
Friday's Community Procession was made up of 126 floats with 8,500 people taking part and 35,000 people along the route. Saturday's Lantern Procession involved 79 floats, 3,000 people taking part and an estimated 60,000 people lining the route.
Preston Pathfinders, Preston United and Preston Community Development Association joined young people from a range of local YPS centres to create a positive and lively presence demonstrating what young people can do. Young people, working with leaders from the services, started getting different ideas together and, gradually, a plan emerged; young people decided what might work, but how were they going to do it? It was recognised that the skills in putting this together to the necessary standard, for a once in twenty years event, were relatively limited and that the assistance of key specialists was required.
What worked well...
As well as making contact with the range of other partners who were interested in making the event happen, dance teacher Sarah Hall was brought in to develop a dance sequence with young people that would take place in the continuously moving procession. The work included recruiting young people at the Children and Young People's Trust Partnership sponsored Park-it events over the summer.
Ruth Ramsdale, a local artist who has volunteered for the YPS supporting many young people, took lead role in developing the art elements of the design. With her help, young people chose to focus on the ongoing theme to tie all their different ideas together. Ruth ran workshops during the lead up to the Guild, designing and making flags, lanterns and objects with young people in both Moor Nook and Plungington Youth and Community Centres. The flags that were made represented different aspects of the work done by YPS and the various partners. Thus there were flags for each of the main centres (Plungington, Moor Nook and Star) and for some of the other groups YPS work with (Youth Council and Vibe) and to show the activities YPS provide (for example outdoor education, cooking, dance, drama and music).
Tying into the original brief, to celebrate young people's achievements and their talents, young people were involved in every stage of the development and their silhouette images used on the flags and the lanterns that were carried in the torchlight procession. Their talents were also very much on show in the procession itself with the dance, drumming and singing that they performed.
The Preston Guild is a once in 20 year's event and a big occasion for Preston. The Young People's Service and partners element of the procession was well received and included 15 dancers, 8 drummers, 12 singers, 10 young people's groups including partner organisations, 3 miles of walking and one very big impression!
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