A blanket approach to Giants

A humongous picnic blanket is going to be created by youngsters across Liverpool and Wirral to form part of October’s Giant spectacular.

Thousands of children from the two areas will become Dream Catchers as they prepare for Liverpool’s Dream which takes place from 4-7 October. A brand new participation programme for schools and community groups has been devised to complement the event.

Students, ranging from the ages of three to 16, will be encouraged to think about their own dreams – what their hopes are for their own future and that of their family and friends, what do they envisage for the place they call home live, and what they dream will be their legacy for future generations.

This will then inspire the design of an enormous picnic blanket which will form part of the show when it visits Princes Park and the New Brighton area. Colourful applique, embroidery and printing will be used to depict the dreams and wishes of the young people. Those who have taken part in the creation will be invited to attend a picnic in October, and they may be joined by a guest with a Giant appetite…

As well as the picnic blanket, those involved in the participation programme will be invited to capture their dreams by designing their own t-shirts, football shirts or pyjama tops. These tops will be exhibited in a prime position in both Liverpool and New Brighton during the event, and will remain on display until the end of October.

An artist will oversee both the blanket and shirt designs to produce a final, beautiful installation which could also incorporate the children’s voices talking of their dreams.

Deputy Mayor and cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:

“When it comes to our major events we want to make sure there is a strong participation element which will resonate long after the giants have finished exploring our streets.

“What is great about this Giant’s theme is that young people can let their imaginations run wild – dreams can be weird and wonderful and we want those taking part to tap into this and really have fun with the project.

“It will also be wonderfully rewarding for people to see the work they have created be part of the show itself and be showcased to an audience of hundreds of thousands.

“I know I speak on behalf of the entire Giants team when I say, we look forward to working with schools and community groups and seeing the amazing work they dream up.”

The Leader of Wirral Council, Councillor Phil Davies, said:

“The Giant visit to New Brighton is going to be an absolute highlight of our Imagine Wirral year of culture, creativity and ideas. Participation is at the heart of our creative programme and this is a fantastic opportunity for our local schoolchildren to play a part in a spectacular event which will be seen around the world. We can’t wait to see what children and young people on both sides of the river produce.”

The Dream Catchers education resource pack will be available in the next few weeks at www.giantspectacular.com. It will give information on how schools and groups can get involved, along with ideas about how to link it in with the national curriculum. The suggested activities include creative writing, literacy, local history and PSHE.

Lisa Mitchell, Community Co-ordinator for Gateacre School, said:

“We are thrilled to be involved in the Giant Spectacular later this year. The Giants hold a special place in the hearts of everyone in Liverpool, especially myself and another member of Gateacre staff who were lucky enough to be Lilliputians for the Grandmother Giant in 2014.

“Our school prides itself on going above and beyond its four walls to inspire its students, parents and community, having been involved in other such high profile city events such as the Lantern Company’s Halloween Parade as well as our own award winning BIG Little Library community venture.

“Our students and local community can’t wait to become Dream Catchers as part of Liverpool’s Dream, working together to create something truly magical that will involve our entire school community and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Chris Fenna, Headteacher at St Paul’s RC Primary School in Beechwood, Prenton, said:

“We are very excited that the Giants are returning and that this time they will also be coming to Wirral. We are really looking forward to involving the children in the project and for them to see the Giants again.”

Any community groups who would like to get involved should email Lucy.Graham@liverpool.gov.uk.

Keep up with the latest news by following Giant Spectacular on Facebook and Instagram, or follow @giantspectacle on Twitter or visit www.giantspectacular.com. Follow the story with #LiverpoolGiants.

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