YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough created an exciting buzz at Saturday’s Celebration of Youth Day Festival in Peterborough city centre which saw over 200 local young people grace three stages to showcase their achievements and talents.
The aim of the festival was to inspire, entertain, and provide a platform for the region’s up-and-coming generation.
The day saw a varied programme of live music, interactive sports workshops, activities, games, theatre, spoken word, dance, arts, crafts, young businesses and an education, careers and enterprise zone suitable for all ages.
The opening ceremony saw a parade of volunteers from across YMCA and youth organisations and then throughout the day, Peterborough’s current and youngest ever poet laureate, Charley Genever, and champion beatboxer Skilly Skillz, hosted the spectacle alongside PCRFM’s youth radio project.
Student photographer Leah Barfield also interviewed young people and youth organisations from across the city live with the public via a giant interactive screen streaming pictures and posts form across the event.
Charley said: “Hosting and headlining CYD was an absolute honour and I am incredibly grateful for the platform that YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough provided.
“It was an ultimate showcase for young people of all the skills and talents to show the city is full of fire.
“It’s important that people remember organisations like the YMCA are around all year and should be supported so that we can continue to allow young people in our city to aspire to and achieve their goals and set the world on fire with their talents.”
Rebecca Jackson, festival and project manager, said: “The day was absolutely fantastic. We had a good crowd despite challenging weather conditions and we were constantly approached with positive comments about how talented the young performers were and what a variety of things were being showcased from around the city for young people to get involved in.
“It was so fantastic to see the YMCA offer this amazing platform for young people in addition to the many projects they deliver locally and we are currently looking at dates to make this an annual event for the city.”
Performance highlights included 11-year-old singer songwriter Thomas Dunleavy, Ken Stimpson Community School Choir, and 13-year-old hip hop artist Adi Smalls who were given the opportunity to support some of the region’s most successful and emerging young performers.
Adi said: “I was selected after an open mic performance to represent Freak Speak on the Cathedral Stage. My performance went well and the event as a whole was fantastic. I would love to perform again as it was an amazing experience.”
The event was kindly supported by Peterborough City Council, Peterborough Cathedral, St John’s CIC, Bauer Media, University Centre Peterborough, City Fibre, Lodgewood Lettings, Walters Ltd, Perkins Engines, Peterborough Marriott, LearnDirect and 3AAA.