Catalyst Gateway’s Summer Programme enjoyed its first West London finale event, celebrating a month of activities for young people and families in four of Catalyst’s neighbourhoods.
The Catalyst Summer Programme, which provides a wide range of free activities for children and young people every weekday throughout August, has long been a highpoint of the year at Church End in Brent. This year, Catalyst Gateway rolled it out to three more areas in West London: Windmill Park in, Havelock, and Friary Park. The month ended with a carnival celebration at North Acton Playing fields, bringing together families from all four neighbourhoods.
Over 200 children came along to the celebration, many bringing their families along. The day began with a mixed football tournament run by QPR, with a barbecue lunch followed by a live band. The afternoon was filled with various activities, including a graffiti mural from Goldfinger Factory, giant inflatable games, healthy cooking and arts and crafts. There were also performances from young people who’d been learning rap and street dance throughout the week.
By building relationships with young people throughout the programme, and holding the carnival celebration in a location outside any of the four neighbourhoods, Catalyst Gateway were able to overcome perceived barriers between the neighbourhoods and attract a great crowd. Angelina Cox, Brent resident and regular volunteer with the Summer Programme, said ‘This is a great venue for the carnival event, with space for everyone to run and play. It’s wonderful to see all four centres come together.’
The day ended with certificates for all the young people who participated, awarded by Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, who said, "It was great to reward the young people from various corners of Ealing Borough with certificates for their participation in the summer programme. I hear a lot of youth complaining that there is nothing to do in the holidays so this addresses that very thoroughly. It's the first time that this scheme has operated in these West London neighbourhoods; let's hope that there are many more to come."