February 2021: The plan for 2021 is to grow the Light Parade once again, this time becoming a ‘Festival of Lights’ while keeping its proven track record of putting the community at its heart.
October 2019: The Ideas Hub took the initial successful idea from 2018 and built the Light Parade into a major event in its own right. It attracted well over 2,000 participants, kindly supported by a £6,000 grant from Arts Council England, £6,000 funding from the Civic Society (from a grant from National Lottery Awards for All) and a £6,000 grant from the Ragdoll Foundation which supported project work with a number of local schools in the run up to the Festival (more details below).
Working with local schools: The Ideas Hub worked for 2 months with 2 primary schools: Parkwood Academy and Lawford Mead. The pupils made all the decisions about the light lanterns to be used for the Festival and they designed and created a series of beautiful lanterns. This project is a great example of a STEAM project. The pupils worked with artists to build the structure of the lanterns and then were supported by computer coding specialists and an engineer to programme the lights and to create the transporting platforms. The children were empowered to make their own decisions and were supported to engage with their community, including running a ‘test parade’ in their local community. The schools are situated in the top 10% of the most deprived areas in UK and the project offered them the opportunity to be part of a memorable event in their young years, trying skills and gaining experiences they would otherwise not have had the opportunity to try.
Extra day workshops were also run with pupils in two other local primary schools, St Pius X and Kings Road and a local Youth Groups participated too.
October 2018: As part of the 2018 Festival of Ideas a light parade was organised to bring communities together on the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1. The Light Parade was created with the support of the community and youth groups with only £2,000 – all coming from crowdfunding