W12 Festival 2016
Hosted by Wormholt and White City Big Local
Saturday 23rd July saw a crowd of over 2000 descend on Wormholt Park for an afternoon of beautiful sunshine and celebration. As the official relaunch of the park after its’ recent redevelopment work, Big Local delivered a huge community party that focused on celebrating everything good and inspiring about Wormholt and White City.
Historically W12 Festival has taken place on the White City Estate, reclaiming the streets for a day of celebration, but this year’s event doubled up as a thank you to those involved in the park redevelopment as well as an invitation to the local community to make the most of the beautiful green spaces in our area. It was incredible to see the park filled for the day with people, colour, creativity, music and food, not to mention ponies, award winning dogs, giant bubbles and a BMX track! With space to sit and picnic and interactive activities for all ages, many families came and spent the day soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the community spirit.
W12 Festival is a community led event coordinated by Big Local, a lottery funded project that enables local residents to make positive changes to their neighbourhood. Here in Wormholt and White City, our initial £1million from the Lottery was match funded by Hammersmith United Charities and 3 years into the project, local residents have already made a huge impact through the decisions they’ve made on how best to spend it. Part of our pot of money goes towards community events as local residents believe that opportunities for people to gather and celebrate help to knit the community together, create opportunities for new friendships to form and give locals a greater sense of pride in the place that they live.
Each year the festival is supported by local organisations that help to cover the cost of throwing a party of this scale. This year we couldn’t have delivered such a great event without the financial donations and in kind support from Mitie, Levitt Bernstein, Fulcrum, Hammersmith Community Gardens Association, Television Centre, Hammersmith and Fulham CCG, Lendlease, Quadron, the Friends of Wormholt Park, Wormholt Residents Association, White City Enterprise, White Noise, QPR in the Community Trust and London Sports Trust.
The event also wouldn’t have been possible without the huge group of volunteers who supported both the planning process and the day itself. With over 70 volunteers, mainly local residents who live within walking distance of the park, and a dedicated residents committee who met fortnightly for three months to work on plans behind the scenes, this year’s festival was another example of what can be achieved when local people believe in their community and in the importance of coming together to enjoy the place in which they live.
We had over 25 organisations represented at W12 Festival 2016 with interactive stalls featuring treasure hunts, creative activities, bubble artists, science experiments, play opportunities, face painting, photo booths, and sports games. We also had 15 market stalls run by local residents, some selling items that they had made themselves and others promoting their own local start-up businesses and projects. On stage the talent was home-grown too with an eclectic mix of acts including Bollywood dancers, African drumming, Hip-hop and RnB, soulful DJ’s and a live reggae band. Our stage DJ and MC live in the area and played a big part in enticing a crowd to gather to dance and enjoy the variety of performances. Delicious food was sold at the event thanks to our four local caterers and a lovely tea garden was hosted by the Big Local over 50’s group.
To continue the theme of celebration, this year’s Festival also provided an opportunity to publicly congratulate and thank members of the Wormholt and White City community who have made a positive impact on the area over the past year. Hayley Wedgbury was given the Inspirational Person Award from Big Local for her work on securing funding to have wheelchair accessible play equipment installed in the park, which is the first in the borough. We also celebrated Aman Rahmani, a local boy formally from Wormholt Park Primary School who designed the dragon slide that features in the park, and Joel Parkes, a local artist who carved Aman’s slide out of a tree from his garden! Big Green Local which is led by Hammersmith Community Gardens Association also awarded prizes to a number of local residents as part of our In Bloom garden and window box competition.
The impact of W12 Festival 2016 was felt both on the day itself in the midst of a crowd of joyful dancers, relaxed picnickers, and happy kids exploring and enjoying their local park in a new way as well as after the event through conversations had on the street or messages sent to the Big Local team thanking the project for initiating such an uplifting celebration. We can’t wait to do it all again next year!
Check out our W12 Festival 2016 video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww22FsImJJQ
Festival photographs can be found under the Local Impact section on our website – www.ourbiglocal.org.uk and on our Flickr site – https://www.flickr.com/photos/140536639@N08/albums/72157671988116575