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PHOTO GALLERY: Creative day in Bowthorpe unlocks potential of Norwich’s ‘golden stars’

16:56 13 August 2012

The Families United Norwich (FUN) Creative Day for Kids at the Clover Hill Village Centre, Bowthorpe. Deborah Lola, 6, with balloons. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Families United Norwich (FUN) Creative Day for Kids at the Clover Hill Village Centre, Bowthorpe. Deborah Lola, 6, with balloons. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

From dressing-up and dancing to jewellery-making and zumba, children unleashed their inner creativity at a weekend workshop in Bowthorpe.

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From dressing-up and dancing to jewellery-making and zumba, children unleashed their inner creativity at a weekend workshop in Bowthorpe.

More than 50 children joined in the activity day organised by Families United of Norwich (FUN), which offers support and guidance to families throughout the city.

The day ended with each child releasing a balloon with a golden star attached to it, said father-of-two and organiser Jonathan Taiwo, “because Norwich is producing stars”.

He said: “Creative days allow the potential of the children to be released.

“They have seen the Great Britain gold stars at the Olympics, and they have the talent to do the same – they just need the encouragement.”

To see a photo gallery of the creative day, click on the link to the top right-hand side of this story.

The drop-in play session at Clover Hill Village Hall on Saturday saw children indulging their creative side and having fun with music and dance workshops, sports and games, and arts and crafts.

The creative play days are just one of the ways that FUN has been working with and for families of black and other ethnic minority groups in Norwich since it was founded in 2010, though all activities are open to anyone.

Alhagie Saidy Khan said the FUN activities had helped to encourage community integration since he moved to Bowthorpe from his native Gambia.

“We all come to these events for the same thing: they are to bring people together and especially our kids,” said the 41-year-old.

And his seven-year-old daughter Fatima agreed, saying the workshops “are a lot of fun and a good way to meet new friends.”

The school holiday sessions are open to five- to 16-year-olds, with the older members encouraged to develop into young leaders.

Mr Taiwo said: “The idea is for them to learn and explore, and to instill in them a sense of responsibility.

“We want to empower individuals and families to make a difference to the communities around them.”

Careers advice was also on offer to the older participants, many of whom are waiting on GCSE results next week, and there are plans to offer more activities and services to young people, including taster music lessons and health advice, in future.

Mr Taiwo said: “We don’t want the children to get caught up in crime, and the best way is to adapt a preventative approach.

“And it’s working: we believe many of these children are going to be stars.”

To find out more about Families United of Norwich, see www.funfamilies.org

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