Volunteers show their creativity for Summer Parade

Councillor Alan Kerr with members of The Creative Seed team and South Tyneside College staff and students.

Councillor Alan Kerr with members of The Creative Seed team and South Tyneside College staff and students.

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Volunteers had a whale of a time when they took the plunge to support next month’s Maritime Mayhem-themed Summer Parade.

They took part in a workshop at South Tyneside College to find out how they can lend their skills to the event.

Organised by the council and part of the annual South Tyneside Festival, it takes place in South Shields on Saturday, July 2.

Session participants received helpful hints from The Creative Seed, the specialist production company co-ordinating and delivering parade activities on behalf of the council.

Its experts showed them how they can work behind the scenes and help build carnival floats, props and outfits for the acclaimed event while highlighting other roles, such as make-up artists and filming.

The workshop is being followed by a series of ‘Carnival Clubs’, also at the college, to further help volunteers.

Taking place from 5pm to 8pm every Monday this month, they will help people learn costume making, dancing and circus skills.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “The Summer Parade is an event right at the heart of our community.

“It showcases the wealth of creative talent we have right here in the borough and I for one cannot wait to see this celebration of the borough’s rich maritime history including our links to seafaring, shipbuilding and lifesaving.

“The parade is going to be a spectacular event, with more than 2,000 people expected to take part. It promises to be a dazzling display of rich colour and sounds, drawing crowds along to our stunning seafront.

“I would encourage people from across the borough to get involved and take part in one of the forthcoming sessions being held at the college by Creative Seed.”

The Summer Parade starts at 1pm will run from South Shields Town Hall to Bents Park, where the fun will continue with music, entertainment and much more.

The Creative Seed’s team has so far advised around 40 schools and community groups on how they can get involved as well as creating the five main maritime-themed floats taking part.

One is based around the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, which is this year marking its 150th anniversary. Others are on the themes of Yellow Submarine, Fantasy Under the Sea, Coastal Sights and Sounds and Pirates.

Garner Harris, of The Creative Seed, said: “The open day was a big success and attracted a lot of people.

“My team gave out specialist advice on how volunteers can support the festival in so many ways.

“I hope people will attend the Carnival Club and find out the great ways they can use their skills and ideas to support the Summer Parade.

“The parade is an event for all the community, and it is great that people want to get involved.”

People with specialist skills, including those who can use aluminium or a rivet gun, are invited to attend.