Dewsbury’s Time To Shine

Tomorrow will mark one year since I Project Managed the Dewsbury Christmas Lights Switch On 2017, with an amazing team of local people and bucket loads of goodwill from folk in the town.

In April 2018, Creative Scene approached Cllr Firth regarding the possibility of them Producing the 2018 event, and so the wheels began to turn once again. From that point I worked with Creative Scene on a voluntary basis wearing my Chair of Dewsbury Park Mansion Community Hub hat. We discussed what had worked last year and what could be achieved this year.

It wasn’t long before Dewsbury Chamber of Trade joined us and together we formed the beginnings of the Steering Group. During the following months, an Arts Council England funding bid was written, we also applied to other local funds including the Dewsbury Schools Endowed Foundation. The last of the funding came in at the end of October and it’s been full steam ahead since then. This team effort ensured that we could create a family event to be remembered.

This year my role has been on Business and Community Engagement. I’ve visited as many shops as I could in the time allowed, and encouraged Community groups to join in. Information and invitations to come on board have been shared online by setting up and running the Facebook Page and Twitter accounts, and the take up has been great. It’s still nowhere near as much as we’d like, BUT it’s more than last year!

Events like this take time to build and refine. Time as in Years – and that’s ok. The experiments and risks that we undertake are necessary to see how we can work together with businesses, community groups, organisations, volunteers and more. Collaboration rather than competition is key in this, with a healthy dose of clear communication – everyone can have a part to play if they so wish. And on that basis of partnership, we can grow.

I want to say thank you to our team at Dewsbury Park Mansion Community Hub for supporting this whilst also undertaking the enormous project of Community Asset Transfer. Thank you also to all the staff of Creative Scene, the Dewsbury Chamber of Trade, Cllr Firth and his team, to all the artists and funders.

My biggest thanks goes to the people of Dewsbury. It’s been a priviledge to meet so many folk who work in town from the big stores to the independents – there’s so much warmth and goodwill. Let’s keep that alive by talking the town up, because that’s what will make the difference. That’s what will make every day Dewsbury’s Time To Shine!