Youth Zone at Home: OnSide's response to Covid-19
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Young people from across the OnSide network joined our Ambassadors for London at the Lord Mayor’s Show for a spectacular day of fun, colour and friendship.
Members of Wigan, Manchester, Inspire and Mahdlo Youth Zones made the trip down south for what was an incredible day in the capital.
The Lord Mayor’s Show, now in its 803rd year, is the world’s oldest and longest civic procession with some 7,000 people taking part and parading three miles through the streets of London with eye-catching floats, colourful and creative costumes and happy, smiling faces in abundance.
Many more line the streets to take in the procession while millions watch on from their homes with it broadcast live on BBC.
The focus is the election of the City’s new Lord Mayor, who this year is Alderman Peter Estlin – a great friend and wonderful supporter of OnSide Youth Zones.
OnSide was involved for the first time last year as we began our three-year partnership with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, alongside the Samaritans and Place2Be.
Once again, we were delighted to link up with our Lord Mayor’s Appeal float, created and built by Ideas.
We walked alongside volunteers from Samaritans and young people from Place2Be’s network of schools.
In addition to that, we were absolutely delighted to be welcomed by Blenheim Chalcot, the company co-founded by our London Champion Charles Mindenhall, and Founders of the Future to feature a number of our young people in their processions.
Tayjean Oates, Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Zone Young People’s Development Group Member, said: “We’ve had a great time, it’s been a really good opportunity. We’ve been meeting new people, waving to everyone watching and having fun!”
The group certainly wasn’t shy in coming forwards, interacting with the thousands watching, giving out high fives and screaming OnSide’s name loud and proud!
As well as the Lord Mayor’s Show, young people were also invited to the Silent Ceremony on Friday night, which saw the Lord Mayor formally elected into his position. Members of OnSide’s Ambassadors for London group were delighted to present Peter and the Lady Mayoress with honorary memberships for the London Youth Zones as well as a framed photo them together at City Giving Day.
The parade left Mansion House, waved on by the new Lord Mayor who then joined the rear of the procession which took him to the Royal Courts of Justice to swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown, watched on by a number of invited guests which this year included a number of young people from the OnSide network.
It was an absolute privilege for us to be in attendance at all the events over the weekend and it provided another unforgettable experience for our young people.
Alex Vernon, Mahdlo Youth Zone member, said: “It’s been really fun to come down, it’s my first time in London. Everybody has had a really good time, it’s great to see everyone coming out and having a great time.”
Following the conclusion of the parade, all the young people came together to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in London with entertainment and activities put on to celebrate the Show.