What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
The aims of the Plumstead Make Merry are to: a) Promote harmony within the whole community by means of an annual festival. b) Promote the diversity and community spirit of Plumstead and what it has to offer. c) Promote understanding within the whole community among people of different cultures, races, ages, ability and sexual orientation. d) Ensure that all members of the community are encouraged to participate.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
Plumstead is a very diverse community, in terms of income, 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, refllecting over 10% of the local population, the current, second most-spoken language is Nepalese. Around 7,000 people (from a population of about 48,000) now attend the Plumstead Make Merry each year, having grown from a typical attendance figure of 5,000+. Plumstead is 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?
We have a good track record, dating back 42 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. We will be working with other organisations to offer workshops, on the day, in a variety of activities.
How will you deliver this?
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!