Debut festival to show off performing talents of town’s young people

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New Milton youth festival
Weather forecasts pushed the event from the rec to inside the next door Memorial Centre, off Whitefield Road

YOUNGSTERS’ musical and sporting talents will be showcased and there will be a chance to try new activities at New Milton’s first Youth Music and Cultural Festival.

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Designed to be something the entire family can enjoy, the free event hosted by the town council is taking place in the Memorial Hall off Whitefield Road, from midday to 6pm on Saturday 10th August.

It had been due to take place on the recreation ground but forecasts of high wind have pushed it inside, which organisers said would affect the planned outdoor activities.

Singing, dancing, rapping, African drumming and sport activities are among the attractions being lined up, with nearly all the performers being under the age of 25 years old.

Urging people to come and support the youngsters, town council youth services manager Silma Ramsaywack said: “This festival is an example of the many great things to be proud of in New Milton.

“Our talented young people from diverse backgrounds are an important part of our community life, and should be celebrated.”

Town council youth services manager Silma Ramsaywack

There will be free taster sessions, allowing youngsters to have a go at something new and possibly sign up to learn an activity.

Among the tasters on offer will be a Mindful Chill Out area, with the aim of teaching how to stay calm in what seems like a chaotic world.

People can visit the youth council to view the findings of a recent survey and workshop which gauged what the town’s younger residents would like to see in a new youth centre building.

As reported in the A&T, the town council is still in negotiations to obtain a site close to the centre of New Milton to host a permanent facility to replace the previous one at the Phoenix Centre.

The Culver Road building was sold off by Hampshire County Council to the Education Funding Agency in 2017 after being the town’s main youth centre for 30 years.

To ensure sustainability, the intention is that the replacement facility will be available for use by all organisations that provide a service to under 25-year-olds.

The council is currently awaiting the full constitution of the newly-formed New Milton Youth Trust, a charity that will be responsible for the management of the new centre. In the meantime, it will ring-fence any donations received for the centre to go to the charity.

A variety of food will also be on offer at the festival, including a barbecue, jerk chicken and sumptuous cakes, as well as vegetarian and vegan cuisine.

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