A Glimmer of Hope Amongst the Pandemic: Young Voices Commemorating the Mayflower and Celebrating Migration

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On Wednesday 28th October at 1.30pm, with funding from The Mayflower Fund and the European Solidarity Corps, The Restorative Justice for All International Institute (RJ4All) will hold their FRED Mayflower Youth Awards ceremony.

The online ceremony, which will be hosted on RJ4All’s YouTube channel, marks the end of a 16 month long online competition in which young people have been submitting entries to commemorate the Mayflower, and celebrate culture and migration. The best submissions in each of the 4 categories (Writing, Art, Community Project’s and Music, Dance and Drama) are currently displayed in their online exhibition.

The awards 2020 are part of the FRED youth-led campaign run and managed by young people from across the world and hosted by RJ4All.

Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE said: “During these challenging times when it’s easy to feel lonely or overwhelmed, culture can help bring us closer together, so it’s fantastic to see so many wonderful and imaginative works or art submitted to the Mayflower awards. It really does show that our creative future is in great hands.”

At the event, guests will hear from RJ4All’s funders and local supporters, including Justine Simmons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Cllr Nick Johnson, Councillor, Surrey Docks Ward and Matthew Allgood, United St Saviours Charity. There will also be presentations from keynote speakers Martin Spafford and Joshua Garry, local historians and educationalists, who will be talking about the history of migration to the UK.

Dr. Theo Gavrielides, RJ4All’s Founder and Director said: “This is just what we need when the headlines are occupied by death and despair. The many submissions by our young people are a much-needed glimmer of hope. We are very proud of the strong equality messages that are sent through their art, and we are grateful to everyone who supported this initiative. There will be many to come”.

Throughout the course of the online competition, RJ4All have received some absolutely amazing entries including beautiful paintings and drawings, inspiring spoken word poetry, delicious migration recipe books, and ingenious hip hop songs! All of which reflect the major theme of the awards – celebrating the contribution of migrants in the UK.

One of the young participants, Sami Kashif (25) said, “My experience has been truly incredible. I have been able to express my artistic talent and explore crucial issues of immigration and community cohesion. Being someone with a mixed ethnic family has made this particularly interesting and relevant.”

And another younger participant, Jamarley Young (12) commented, “I loved taking part in the competition. I really enjoyed researching the different footballers’ backgrounds”.

With the support of their sponsors RJ4All, will be awarding the winners with amazing prizes, including iPads, tablets, theatre tickets, Coach UK items, £50 gift vouchers, trips to London Zoo and Kew Gardens, and career coaching opportunities and internships.

To access the FRED Mayflower Youth Awards ceremony, simply watch as it is streamed on RJ4All’s YouTube channel at 1.30pm on Wednesday 28th October and to view the online exhibition of the finalist pieces.

Ends.

Notes to Editors

You can visit the exhibition by selecting the link in the project webpage: www.fredcampaign.org/awards-2020/.

Our funders:

 

More quotes:

“As a volunteer I supported the competition by helping to run a social media campaign, this included designing and sharing social media posts. I promoted each of our categories and their associated prizes. I also helped judge the submissions which was very difficult since we received so many incredible submissions from such talented individuals”

  • Lara Riad, 19, RJ4All’s FRED Youth Advisory Board member

“FANTASTIC RJ4All! Just went on a virtual tour of the exhibition…….amazing!

  • Clare, parent of participant

“Thanks for this – it looks fantastic!!! Massive well done to everyone involved.”

  • Kate, facilitator, The APE Project – St Pauls Adventure Playground

Funders and supporters

 “We are delighted to support this exciting community led project that commemorates the anniversary of the Mayflower sailing and celebrates stories of migration through cultural activities.”

  • Matthew Allgood, United St Saviours Charity

“I’d like to add my congratulations to RJ4All. They are exactly the kind of organisation that communities, particularly post-Covid need. There work in seeking to bring communities and people from different backgrounds together has never been more needed than it has been today and this year with the anniversary of the Mayflower, it’s a poignant reminder of the powerful contribution that immigrants have always made to this country”.

  • Nick Johnson, Liberal Democrat Councillor, Surrey Docks Ward

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