Posted: 16 March 2015

Inspiring stories at Over the Rainbow

Today, Lily reminisces about her time at Over the Rainbow, dedicated to highlighting children’s accomplishments

Being involved with our annual Over the Rainbow event has been amazing. From being on the awards judging panel in January, to going along to the event in Warwickshire last Saturday, it’s been fun, eye-opening and rewarding.

Over the Rainbow is a great event. It’s our annual event for children, organised by children. The entire day is planned by a group of 10 teenagers from across the country – called Team Gold. This team met throughout the year to allocate our Pot of Gold funding, which allows children to create their own projects to help in their community.

As I arrived at the event, Team Gold were rehearsing on stage, full of beans and ready to go. Pop music blasted out and they busted some shapes, getting more and more excited as guests started to arrive.

My highlight of the day

Over 100 young people came through the doors accompanied by staff from our projects across the country.

The day unfolded smoothly, with presentations and creative performances from groups of young people as well as a variety of fun activities including samba drumming and an outdoor climbing wall. There was something for everyone, from bashing around body zorbing to calmly creating origami.

For me, the highlight of the day was the Children and Young People Awards ceremony. I had spent a day on the judging panel in January with other staff and children – it was extremely difficult to decide on the winners as every single young person had achieved so much.

The bond between project workers and the children they support was very evident. The adults said a few words about why they had nominated the award winner, which was incredibly moving and inspiring.

These children’s resilience and determination shines through

These young people have been through more than a lot of people will in a whole lifetime, and with the right support have come out the other side and are now on a positive path for the future.

It was so clear how proud the project workers are of the young people’s achievements, and rightly so. Often the award winner took back the mic and thanked the project worker for their help and support.

It really struck me how much some children have to put up with and how often they are let down by adults in their life, yet their resilience and determination shines through. Very humbling.

For many children who attended the event, Over the Rainbow gave them a rare opportunity to relax, have fun and be young. It felt like troubles had been left behind at the door as the event hummed with laughter and energy.

Young people got to make new friends, share stories and try out new activities that they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to. It seemed like the blue sky and daffodils came out especially for the event!

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Meet the winners of this year's Over the Rainbow awards

Posted: 28 March 2014