Dartford Young and Gifted

The Dartford Young Gifted is a talent showcase for young people that allows the youth of Dartford to demonstrate their talent, as well as develop their talent. It is beneficial because it promotes skills such as performing in front of an audience, which helps to develop confidence. The showcase was on 5th February 2016.

The showcase featured a wide variety of acts, ranging from solo items to group items such as Irish Dancing. All of the acts were brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them.

I interviewed Milly Constable, 14, who performed in the showcase and represents Dartford Grammar School for Girls. She commented, “I really enjoyed being on the stage and having the chance to sing which is what I really enjoy and my highlight was just the whole day in general with the rehearsals and the excitement – it was overall really fun!”

By Ricky Taing, P.R Officer

Our Residential at Swattenden

A group of lucky DYC members had the opportunity to go to The Swattenden Centre, which is a specialist residential where we got to experience fun and worthwhile challenges.

We got to the Civic Centre and travelled by coach. When we arrived, we were greeted by a friendly instructor called Gary. He introduced himself and took us to our accommodation to unpack our bags. Our first activity was the Bivouac building in which we had to build our own makeshift shelter in the woods, only using fallen down branches and trees. We were separated into two groups and eventually Gary would rate which shelter was the best. Unfortunately, we got a tie but we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience; it sure did make us very muddy!

Balancing on the Swattenden Triangle

The next activity we experienced was the Swattenden Triangle. As this never featured at any other residential trips, this was new to us and unique. It was a team-building activity where we had to cross various bridges with small obstacles. It wasn’t an activity that you could do all by yourself. You needed to rely on your team mates. The feedback from this activity was great and many thought it was the best one!

After the famed Swattenden Triangle, we did problem solving activities including tangrams and a maze. They were very challenging, but quite entertaining! The other group got to build a makeshift buggy which composed of some rope, some metal poles and some plastic barrels. It was funny to see when the buggy kept crashing! This was a nice activity and needed mental skill as well as physical skill.

Night, night! We got to feast on a delicious evening meal and then we spent time in our social room. It had a kitchenette, a television, a sofa, Connect 4 and the good, old Fussball! Many people enjoyed playing Fussball together as it gave an opportunity to compete with their fellow DYC members! As a nice evening activity, we watched Toy Story 3 (in which many people cried towards the end). We went back to our rooms and slept tight, getting ready for the next day.

We woke up to a hearty breakfast only and tackled the climbing wall next. This required a sense of trust for your teammates. This activity was great and everyone got to take part! This was an enjoyable process, some people even got to the top. Bravo!

To finish off, we went on the zip wire, bringing our Swattenden residential trip to an end. This Swattenden residential will always be a great memory for DYC!

Matthew D’Costa, a member of DYC, said “It was a really fun experience and really helped to improve our teamwork and communication skills.”

A blog from Dartford Youth Councillor Ricky Taing

Visit to the Houses of Parliament

On the 3rd August we embarked on a trip to the Houses of Parliament. We possessed a tourist like image; a big, over-excited group all wearing our DYC t-shirts ready to learn about one of the most important historical landmarks in England. Entering the building you could only but be captivated by the amazing interior, with the vast space and beautiful stained glass windows.
Our tour guide took her time to carefully explain the many elements of the building. From how the tiles were made, to details on the various paintings, it was astonishing to discover how much time and effort was taken into making the Houses of Parliament look so grand.
As we hovered over the comfy looking red and green chairs in The House of Lords and Commons, we were informed of the differences between them and taught how decisions that impact the country are made.
An amazing fact shared was that behind The Speaker’s Chair in the House of Commons, there is a sack which contains all of the petitions brought to the attention of the House and out of the many petitions, one in ten gets passed.
Amongst the numerous paintings a really interesting one was Daniel Maclise’s Waterloo. Maclise’s painting of The Battle of Waterloo is a great depiction of the gore and victory of one of the most famous battles in history. The tour guide explained how Maclise tended not to autograph his work instead he added little things in his paintings to indicate that they were created by him. In the painting Waterloo, Maclise paints two subjects holding glasses of water, which would have been very odd on a battleground but an amazing way to tag his work.
When the tour was over we were given the opportunity to look around some of the building once more and take in the beautiful surroundings.
After leaving the Houses of Parliament with new knowledge on British history and politics we had a relaxing lunch together in an open space near the London Eye.
All in all, our trip to The Houses of Parliament was fun and informative and I look forward to what the next Dartford Youth Council trip has in store.

A blog post from Itunu Abolarinwa, Web Admin