QPR in the Community Trust recently supported the Literacy Trust, guest clubs and celebrities on a one-day literacy festival for children affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The Voices Festival, held at Ark Burlington Danes Academy, gave the children an opportunity to take part in a range of activities including storytelling, arts and crafts, active literacy, poetry and Acapella workshops.
Patrice Lawrence introduced the day by sharing her journey of becoming an award-winning author, followed by Jermain Jackman, winner of The Voice UK 2014, who brought the introduction to a close with an emotional singing performance.
Both artists emphasised the importance of using their voices to express themselves and being resilient in the face of adversity.
Professional authors, storytellers and musicians supported children during the workshops to engage with each other while producing individual and collective work.
The workshop leads included Vanessa Woolf, Wendy Shearer, Storyjam, Tony Dallas (storytellers), Valerie Bloom, Dreadlock Alien (poets), Patrice Lawrence (author), Sons of Pitches and Jermain Jackman (musicians).
Coaches from QPR, Chelsea & Fulham were assigned to the football-themed activities which saw them support small groups in a quiz, followed by a penalty shoot-out. In the afternoon, the coaches organised football matches with an emphasis on communication and the importance of team work.
Throughout the day, the ambassadors spoke with the children and their families about how literacy can bring people together and help them overcome challenges. At the end of the event, the children’s work was presented and celebrated, while they had the opportunity to choose from a wide range of books to take away with them.
Gavin Forbes, coach at QPR Community Trust, said: “It was great to witness young people express themselves, work together and inspire others through creative activities.
“This event showed that in times of adversity, there are people that we can rely on and look to for help and inspiration to keep going.”
QPR in the Community Trust are planning more work with the Literacy Trust to enhance our provision in schools and further develop the students’ reading, writing and communication skills.