Young people with cancer & life limiting illnesses – pop stars for a day at the Brighton Dome
Youngsters in Sussex who live with life threatening illnesses and cancer, as well as young people who have experienced hardship and tragedy in their early years, had the chance to star in their very own pop video, thanks to Forward Facing. On Thursday 31 March, around 60 of the young people, and their friends and siblings, become pop stars for the day, as they put together their own version of Fleur East’s “Sax”. They had the help of professional choreographers, filmmakers, hair stylists, face painters and a costume stylist.
The young people performed in the fantastic surroundings of the Brighton Dome in the historic Royal Pavilion estate in Brighton. To further entertain the families there was a magic show, the chance to learn circus skills, glitter tattoos, arts and crafts and balloon animals, and visits from Darth Vader and other characters from Star Wars, joined by Spiderman, and Princess Ella and the Snowman from Disney’s Frozen, who provided endless photo opportunities.
The children and their siblings were joined by a group of volunteers, including staff from Enterprise Car Hire in Brighton who sponsor the charity. Making the pop video is part of the work Forward Facing charity does in bringing together young people from within the local community to become ‘buddies’ and enjoy shared experiences and activities and to create new friendships.
The young people performed their song and danced in front of their families and each young person will receive a copy of the final DVD as a wonderful memento of a very special day. The event is followed in the autumn with a film premier to launch the DVD and present participants with an Oscar just like Hollywood!
Founder of the charity Forward Facing, Tasleen Carstairs, died after a short illness in May 2014. Tasleen organised four events at the Brighton Dome as well as theatrical workshops with disabled or disadvantaged young people in communities across Sussex. The aim of the charity is “to develop self esteem, confidence and health and wellbeing through fun activities”. The charity also provides opportunities for parents to attend pamper days and sporting events as a chance to connect and provide mutual support. Many young people and their families face challenges in everyday living with life threatening conditions? the charity arranges family days out to give them the chance to enjoy fun events together. In 2015 the charity took a coach load of families to Chessington World of Adventures, and to Lodge Hill for an outward bound day of fun and adventure. More events are planned for 2016.