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Autumn Carnival

The Sharrow Autumn Carnival is one of Ignite’s most successful and enduring annual events, demonstrating how our approach to partnerships with grassroots community organisations can enable each organisations to bring their respective expertise and community connections to produce activities that are greater than the sum of their parts and achieve strong community and creative outcomes.


Ignite artists work with a wide variety of community groups and schools in the neighbourhood to deliver lantern-making and other creative workshops, particularly aiming at engaging and providing diversionary activities for young people at risk of being involved in anti-social disorder incidents. Then we deliver the Carnival event itself on a weekend afternoon and evening close to Bonfire Night, with additional workshops, entertainment, food and a lantern parade around the local streets and Mount Pleasant Park.


The original need for this project was identified after exceptional levels of anti-social behaviour and disorder were recorded in the neighbourhood during the dark nights period of 2015. Ignite Imaginations and Sharrow Community Forum have worked together on the annual Autumn Carnival since 2016, and the project has resulted in large reductions in anti-social behaviour and incidents of disorder during the Dark Nights period. For example, during the first year of the project in 2016, there was a 23% reduction in anti-social behaviour and a 60% reduction in firework related anti-social incidents) during October and early November.


Since that point the local partnership have come together to collectively deliver a project and a Carnival event that have helped almost eradicate these levels of unacceptable behaviour and reclaimed the local park and surrounding area. Families and children have been able to safely enjoy an event designed with and for them.


Using local facilities and the local park for this event enables community cohesion and intergenerational activity that brings together a broad mix of cultural and economic backgrounds. It is situated in an area with pockets of high deprivation and long standing issues around anti-social disorder. The workshops sessions leading up to the event are part of plans to train, provide confidence building and raise awareness for young people to be involved in the organising and planning of the event.

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