The first public Jersey Children’s Day celebrations attracted thousands of children, young people, and families for a day of free entertainment, activities, sport, art, and live music on Sunday 3rd July.
An estimated 2,000 children, young people and families attended the morning event at Millbrook Park, and around 4,000 attend the afternoon event in Howard Davis Park. Both events were supported by more than 50 charities, organisations, and businesses, many of whom offered their time or services free of charge.
Children and young people had input into the shape and content of the day. Hundreds of children and young people responded to a survey to identify locations for the event, and choose the activities they wanted to take part in.
At Millbrook Park, a community art project in collaboration with schools and ArtHouse Jersey saw hundreds of children’s art transformed into dozens of individual totem poles, each one topped with the emblem of Children’s Day, a butterfly.
At Howard Davis Park, Youth Arts Jersey provided four hours of live music, including a ukulele band, a Greatest Showman tribute, and jazz and rock bands.
Cheyenne O’Connor, of the Independent Survivors’ Steering Group, said: “I was so incredibly proud to see so many happy faces at the first public event for Children’s Day. We were amazed that so many families turned out for this event, far more than we expected.
“Children’s Day may come from a dark place in our history, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a day to celebrate, and to appreciate that all these children will one day be adults with their own families. This is what the day is about: our children, our future, and a collective responsibility to ensure we never leave any of them behind.
“The community really came together to support this event, and I want to thank everyone who helped us make it happen.”
Rob Sainsbury, Interim Director General for Children, Young People, Education and Skills, said: “It’s been a fantastic team effort by Government of Jersey Children’s Day Steering Group in partnership with charities, businesses and services in such a very short space of time. We’re extremely grateful for all the support especially to all the young people from Jersey Youth Arts who gave up their time rehearsing for their spectacular performances on stage and creating a fun family-festival feel at Howard Davis Park.
“It was wonderful to see so many children, young people and families attend, relax and play freely and safely in the parks enjoying the free activities organised by Government services and charities.
“Jersey’s community spirit shone throughout in making the first public Children’s Day a memorable one.”