On Saturday, 7 July 2018 Wembley Futures will be hosting the third annual Heart of Wembley Festival. This vibrant community event will take place from 1pm-6pm on St Johns Road, off Wembley High Road by Primark. St Johns Road will be closed to traffic for the day, allowing the community to reclaim a street in the town centre for the festivities. The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Celebrating Family’, and the festival will truly have something for everyone in families both big and small.

The Festival is one of the activities by Wembley Futures, one of 150 recipient groups across the UK to be awarded funding by The Big Local. A long-term innovative programme that aims to achieve lasting change, The Big Local provides a mixture of funding, finance and support.

The Heart of Wembley Festival will celebrate the diversity and community in Wembley Central through a mix of both local and professional music, talented dance performances, fragrant food, bright colours and vivid fabrics of the performers’ costumes.

The atmosphere will be charged with much vitality and vivaciousness!  Stage will feature music spanning the genres including vintage music hailing from the 1940s and beyond, the sounds of acoustic guitar, and Afro-Brazilian harmonies that recall the band members’ far flung homelands.

Drumming workshops will run all day, their rhythmic beats inviting all festival goers to come and have a try on African drums and the Dhol drums, while dancers will conjure a voyage to countries from Ireland to Nepal and from India to Cuba with intricate, traditional dance performances. For a contrast, contemporary dancers specialising in street dance will also be showing their skills to the festival crowd.

Come and taste the flavours of cooking from around the world, with vendors offering authentic Nigerian, Caribbean, and Hungarian street food as well as a range of both sweet and savoury treats from Portugal, artisan brownies, and delicious cakes. Don’t forget a refreshing drink of fresh coconut as well.

Family activities will abound, with creative craft tables, an artwork display by Elsley School, and fantastic performances from children from Brent Music, Ark Elvin School, Elsely School, and the 360 Theatre group. Become a character, an animal or simply enjoy a gorgeous design with a visit to the Festival face-painters.  With a story area, including books and a storyteller, there will be plenty to carry away the imaginations of all members of the family. Let street theatre artists and magician woo you!

Be sure to cycle up a smoothie and repair your bike, courtesy of Brent Cycling; have a chat with the always-welcoming community stalls, try some aloe products from Forever Living, and stop by the Wembley Futures stall for more details about current activities and upcoming plans for the year ahead. Wembley Central Safer Neighbourhood Police will be on hand to hear any concerns you may have.

Francis Henry, Chair of Wembley Futures, said: “I hope to see both new and familiar faces at the Festival in July. We are building on the success of the previous two years’ Festivals and look forward to a great day out with friends, family and neighbours. Heart of Wembley Festival 2018 promises to be a fun-packed day.”

For more information please contact Osita Udenson on 07875 588 107 or udenson@btinternet.com.

Big Local Wembley Central (BLWC) is the Big Local Area for Wembley Central, London Borough of Brent. This area was selected in December 2012 as part of the final 50 Big Local Areas in Wave Three of the overall Big Local Programme. The Local Trust’s mission is to “to enable residents to make their communities and their areas even better places in which to live.”

The overall national Programme is a £200m investment launched by the Big Lottery Fund in July 2010 to support 150 small urban and rural communities to come together to improve their area.

Each Big Local area is receiving at least £1m Lottery funding over the next 10 years, which residents themselves will be in charge of spending on ways to improve their community from training and employment schemes to tackling anti-social behaviour, creating new community facilities or providing more activities for young people.

Each area will also be given support, training, and networking opportunities to help them develop their plans and empower them to find solutions that work for their communities.

Managed by Local Trust, an independent organisation, and supported by a range of partner organisations, Big Local is targeting pockets of the country that have been overlooked for funding and resources in the past and may face issues including the decline of local industry, high levels of unemployment, or a pressing need for new support services or activities.

The Heart of Wembley Festival is being curated by Udenson Caldbeck Associates, an urban regeneration, economic development and events consultancy based in northwest London.