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Mesmerising lantern parade takes place in Swansea

22 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Lantern Parade. Image: UWTSD

A mesmerising display of colour lit up a Swansea community recently, with participants young and old coming out in force to bring light to the cold and dark of winter.

The lantern parade in Townhill, Swansae was supported by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD)’s Widening Access team, aiming to create a sense of unity, community spirit and celebration.

Inclusive event

The team supported the joint delivery of six weekly workshops to create paper mâché lanterns at the Phoenix Centre in Townhill leading up to the Lantern Parade.

Elisha Hughes, UWTSD’s Widening Access officer, who also volunteers in the community said: “The aim of the sessions was to encourage people from different generations to become engaged, enhance skills they already have or to try something completely new outside of their comfort zone.

“Over 100 people took part in the 45-minute parade through Townhill and the local neighbourhood stopping off at various points to sing songs led by a local brass band. Special stops were made to venues with supported living arrangements so residents could also join in.”

In the new year, the Widening Access team will continue to support the centre with the hope of connecting more people in the area to future training, education, or employability options.

Lantern Parade. Image: UWTSD

Sebastian, who is Head Boy at Dylan Thomas Community school was one of those taking part. He initially met UWTSD’s Widening Access team at workshops delivered as part of a project called ‘Healthy Schools.’

He said: “It’s amazing to see how the community has connected together and worked with the university for this event at the Phoenix Centre that I am proud to work at as a youth worker.”

Community hub

Sam Bowen, UWTSD Widening Access Manager added : “One new and exciting gardening project launched this term which is an accredited Level 2 qualification delivered in conjunction Gower College Swansea, is for local adults who are attending a course weekly. Their work through the project meant the site looked extra special for the day.”

UWTSD also provided a variety of interactive workshops stations at the Blaen-y-Maes Drop-in centre, including bauble making, reindeer food cones and Christmas art.

Third year UWTSD Education student Chloe Evans has been volunteering at Blaen-y-Maes and the lantern workshops. She said: “I couldn’t wait to help support this project. I am passionate about supporting community work and this was an excellent opportunity to add some experience to my CV to help me when I start looking for jobs at the end of the year”.

Professor Ian Walsh, Provost of UWTSD’s Swansea Campus, said:  “The University is delighted to support this initiative and to continue our collaboration, which has developed over many years, with the Phoenix Centre.

“UWTSD is proud to be known as a community university that provides opportunities for local people to access higher education. Our aim is to raise awareness of those opportunities so that we can increase participation in our programmes and develop skills in the region.”

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