It was great! During the day there were stalls, lovely food and lots of performances, including African and Cuban dancing, performance poetry and storytelling and our Weakest Think. The African dancers made Shane get up and dance with them, which was worth working on a Saturday just to see.
One of the most memorable acts was Laurence Hoo, a performance poet who’s work was about the problems of children growing up in the inner city and the failings (in his view) of Bristol City Council. He’s self-published a book of photographs and poems called Inner City Tales. He wasn’t necessarily the best performer, but his passion and commitment really shone through and the book is affecting.
The Weakest Think went down well, the Ann Robinson role filled capably by Tor Hodgson – Scarman worker by day, lead singer in a ska band by night. I particularly like one song they did about festivals ("I want to be in a field full of hippies/ Hang on, I hope they’re not FASCIST HIPPIES!").
The winner of the Weakest Think was Daniel Tuttle of START (Students and Refugees Together), a charity based in Plymouth. They wanted the money to extend their garden, where they grow organic veg for their ‘Cultural Kitchen’ and provide meaningful and enjoyable work for refugees. Photos (and maybe even video clips) to follow in due course.
I thought what especially worked about it was that there was a defined amount of money and people had to think, ‘What could I do for £150?’ In a way, you got much better suggestions than if you just ask people open-endedly what they’d like. The other two finalists were both great ideas too.
Laura wanted the money to print and post out a resource pack for parents of visually-impaired children – apparently often people struggle along without realising that they can get free spoken word books, or that there’s a special mouse you can buy that will automatically resize text on your pc. And knowing these simple things can make an enormous difference to the quality of life of their children.
Tony wanted the money to pay for employer’s insurance, so that he could take on volunteers at his mental health advocacy project. He’s got three volunteers lined up, but no insurance so he can’t use them! That, to be honest, got my vote, as the biggest amount of difference the money could make. I think we might try to find him a bit of money anyway, ‘cos we’re lovely.