Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
Plumstead is a very diverse community, in terms of affluence, age, opportunity, beliefs and ethnicity. It is physically diverse, too: the area contains high-density built areas but is also rich in woodland and open spaces. Some areas are classified as being within the top 5% most income-deprived nationally. Over 100 languages are spoken within the borough, with typically 35 – 40 at any one school in Plumstead. The ethnic composition of the population changes radically over the years, reflecting world events. For example, at over 10% the current, second most-spoken language is Nepalese. Over 7,000 people (from a population of about 48,000) attended the Plumstead Make Merry last year – this has grown from a typical attendance figure of 5,000+. The Mayor for London has just announced that Plumstead will be one of nine focus areas in London for building new homes – this is on top of those already planned for neighbouring Woolwich, Abbey Wood and Thamesmead. A community event, such as the Make Merry, will therefore continue to play a crucial role in supporting community cohesion and promoting talents, skills, businesses and opportunities in Plumstead, whilst simultaneously providing an entertaining, affordable day out for the whole family.
What is your solution?
The Plumstead Make Merry has been a very popular event since 1975 and feedback informs us
that local people are keen to see the festival continue, believe it supports and promotes community cohesion and that it provides an opportunity for people to come together to share and showcase their talents, culture and heritage. Furthermore, the event provides an opportunity for local voluntary groups and small businesses to promote themselves, recruit and raise vital funds for the coming year.
This is your festival and we need YOU!
How will you deliver this?
We have a good track record, dating back 40 years and have evolved in response to feedback, to reflect changes in attitudes and tastes. So long as we can raise enough funds for the infra-structure of the event and for public liability insurance, we can stage a good quality, well-organised event. As it will be the Ruby Anniversary this year, we have been asked to include some more traditional activities (which, due to reduced funding, have been lacking in recent years); we would like to work with other organisations to offer workshops in a variety of activities, in the lead-up to the event and on the day; we need to move into the future on a stronger financial base.