Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough
Youth trust all set to ‘reconnect’
A youth organisation in Marlborough is set to ‘‘reconnect’’ with young people in the community after two years of Covid restrictions, with a festival putting a spotlight on youth mental health awareness.
Organised by Marlborough Youth Trust Advisory Group members (Mytags), Springfest will return to Marlborough A & P Showgrounds in Blenheim this year, after Covid-19 restrictions meant the 2021 edition had to be downsized and held indoors.
Youth worker Maxine Anderson-Sweeney said Marlborough youth were excited to be able to open the festival gates without restrictions for the first time since the pandemic began.
‘‘So there’s a bit of hype about being back at A&P Showgrounds, because so much stuff got cancelled last year,’’ she said.
‘‘We’re just excited to have the gates open and be allowed to let people in.’’
Group member Taylah Rasmussen said Marlborough Youth Trust events had been affected by Covid-19 restrictions over the last couple of years, including having to limit the number of attendees.
‘‘You’d plan something, you’d get all hyped up about it and then the day before, ‘oh, we’re going into red, it’s cancelled’ –you can only postpone things so many times,’’ she said.
The ‘reconnect’ theme of this year’s event, was also the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 which runs from September 26 to October 2.
‘‘Lots of us suffered through Covid, so the more we all reconnect with each other, the more we connect about mental health,’’ Anderson-Sweeney said.
Rasmussen said every Springfest theme since the festival’s inception in 2017, had been centred around mental health awareness.
‘‘It’s been awesome to connect with youth and bring up a topic that everyone is too scared to talk about,’’ Rasmussen said.
Conversations about mental health among youth were ‘‘a lot more prevalent now, and you hear about it more – It’s not something you have to keep quiet about quite so much,’’ she said.
The festival will include stalls run by youth, selling items they have made themselves, such as crystal earrings, vases and crochet accessories.
The youth running the stalls would get to keep the money they make, which Anderson-Sweeney said would be a good entrepreneurship learning opportunity for them.
Festival-goers would also have the chance to take a ride in a range of classic cars, scale a climbing wall, give boxing a go, and watch a range of performers.
❚ Springfest will be held at Marlborough A & P Showgrounds, Blenheim on September 30 from 7pm – 11pm. Tickets are $5 and can be bought at Marlborough Youth Trust, online at Ticketek or at the gate on the day.