August 10, 2016

A Community Festival with Kindness at its Heart


The Newington community and their friends from around Thanet and beyond celebrated kindness at Best Fest on Sunday 31st July, 2016. Hundreds of people turned out on the sunny Sunday afternoon to experience the second and much bigger Best Fest run by People United in partnership with Newington Big Local.

Best Fest is all about kindness, bringing people together to share activities, help one another and enjoy each other’s company, essentially making the world a better place.

There were lots of free activities for the whole family, from adding to the Giant Kindness Tapestry, originally started by the Creative Champions of Newington, West Kent Housing encouraging people to make friendship bracelets, Age UK created community canvases with participants, the canvases were then gifted to the Community Centre, making stop frame animation films of stories of kindness in the Imagination Lab, to Newington Big Local and Kent Savers Credit Union providing piggy banks to be painted.














Many of the stalls offered volunteering opportunities such as Age UK, Kent Wildlife Trust and Thanet Volunteering Centre who provide information about many organisations who welcome enthusiastic volunteers.

There was plenty of entertainment during the afternoon with song and dance from the South African band U’Zambezi, Newington’s very own singing group, Sing Your Heart Out, made its debut to rapturous applause and the Royal Air Force Cadets 2433 Ramsgate and Manston Squadron Band.








The new 10 year anniversary artist commission KISS (Kindness Investigation Sensory System), was installed, and proved extremely popular. Inspired by stories from members of the community in Newington about connections with other people through acts of kindness and researching with them what kindness sounds, looks, smells and feels like, the artists created giant bags which, when hugged, emitted appropriate sensory clues; grandma singing a lullaby, jokes, chocolate chip cookies, warm blankets…
IMG_2540What people said about Best Fest:

“What a wonderful, life affirming afternoon! We came for an hour, stayed for three and didn’t do everything. Our hearts are happier and the much needed focus on kindness and the community will linger. Thank-you!”

“I have had the most brilliant afternoon. Well done and thank-you so much. I love the kindness theme. See you next year!”

“Great community event. Love the focus (kindness). Great workshops – loved singing U’Zambezi- brilliant- loved Sensory ‘thing’- great and different. More, more, more, more, please.”

To get involved as a Creative Champion or to work towards Best Fest 2017, please email [email protected]

Sing Your Heart Out – After a brilliant first performance at Best Fest the singing group will continue to meet again every Monday from 12 September, 2016 at Newington Community Centre 4:45-6:15pm. No auditions, no need to read music, no pressure! FREE – we’d love to see you there.

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