Thursday 11th July 2013
A feast of music, dance and drama with a message attracted close on 2,200 youths to the VYG’s summer show at UCKG HelpCentres across London and in the regions on Sunday July 7th.
‘Summertime Fever’ was created as the umbrella brand for a national performing arts programme designed to help young people be ‘summer-savvy’. That is, to enjoy the summer break from school or college to the full while being alert to the dangers that arise when youthful exuberance flips over into risky, uninhibited behaviour.
Individual branches produced their own programmes around the topics and concerns that the local members and leaders felt to be important. For instance, Peckham VYG in south London focused on dissent within the family and the fact that every action has its consequences, while Stamford Hill VYG in north London was concerned about STIs.
Michael Oni the UK national youth co-ordinator for the VYG said: “Many youths try to find happiness through drinking and partying without thinking about the consequences that will affect them later on in life. Some do it because they don’t know any better, others simply to fill the void.
“The VYG strives to show that there is another way. Yes! You can and you will have fun, and it’s all the better for being the kind of fun that leaves you with a clean and clear conscious and does not reduce your options early in life” he added.
The individual Summertime Fever shows were all written, produced, choreographed and performed by VYG members from the age of 14 to the early twenties. In doing so they exhibited an impressive range of talents, energy and creativity.
Dance routines included back flips, Latin and ballet moves and all the exuberance of street dance. The plays moved audiences to tears, gales of laughter or made their points through the use of irony.
A few branches – including Luton – welcomed guests. Cllr Mohammed Zia, deputy mayor of Luton stepped away from his normal Sunday to attend this community event, and commented that it was informative and also a success. Carl Smith, a youth who was attending his first ever VYG event at Luton added “I thought the event was quite good and I could probably change my life from coming here”.
Michael Oni concluded: “Congratulations are due to everyone who took part, on stage, backstage and front of house and also to the young audience members who had the good judgement to bring their parents along. It was especially good to see the generations willing to work together to prevent young lives from going off the rails over the summer.
Notes to editors
UCKG is a Christian church and registered charity that offers a range of practical support activities alongside spiritual support and comfort and welcomes all-comers. It reached the UK in 1995 and has gone from strength to strength, providing support and spreading the Christian faith. There are UCKG HelpCentre branches in England and Wales.
The UCKG HelpCentre’s youth group, VYG, is a major long term priority. Designed for 15 – 23 year olds, the VYG provides the same family-style peer group support that attracts young people to gang life, but without the destructive behaviours. Rather, it helps and encourages the young to be the best that they can be.
STIs refers to sexually transmitted infections.
For further information please contact the UCKG HelpCentre Press Officer via e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or direct line 020 7686 6033.