Kids are flying Norwich's flag
Mary HamiltonDesigning, chalking, cutting and sticking - Norwich's Vauxhall Centre was a hive of activity yesterday as children and adults with disabilities created bright banners showing their pride in their home city.Support Norwich on FacebookSupport Norwich on FacebookNorfolk and Norwich Festival official siteOfficial Norwich 2013 bid websiteMary Hamilton
Designing, chalking, cutting and sticking - Norwich's Vauxhall Centre was a hive of activity yesterday as children and adults with disabilities created bright banners showing their pride in their home city.
Created from orange, green, blue and silver, the big flags were emblazoned with Norwich designs from the Canaries and Lotus cars to rivers and dragons - and they will be flying for all to see at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May.
Lauren Sutton, 18, Emily Boyd, 16 and Shainie Goodhew, 17, from the Clare School in Norwich, used giant hearts and flowers to decorate their banner.
'It's about loving Norwich and Norfolk,' said Emily. 'We're really proud of it.'
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Their classmates Lee Medler, 17, James Allen, 16, Shannon Clarke, 17, and Daisy Muwira, 19, cut out Lotus cars and Canaries as symbols of the city to decorate their flag.
Teacher Pat Bagshaw said the students had really enjoyed the day and were excited about being involved with the Festival. 'They are really looking forward to seeing their flags flying in Eaton Park,' she said.
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The community project, titled Change Place: Here We Are, is the brainchild of artist Catherine Meadley, who chose the big, bold colours to make sure the flags will look good when they are flying together in Eaton Park and Chapelfield Gardens.
More sessions at Harford Manor School, Chapel Break School and Philadelphia Hall will see more of the bright banners created to decorate the city during the Festival, which runs from May 5 to May 22.
Geraldine Joslin, 55, from Norwich, has been visiting the centre for ten years since her arthritis became so bad she had to use a wheelchair.
She said: 'The activity is good because it keeps me moving my bad arm, but I like being with people and creating things. It helps me cope with my illness.
'I'm looking forward to seeing the flags flying and picking out the one that I made.'
Stuart Hayden, who leads the team at the Vauxhall Centre, a community resource centre which incorporates adult education, children's services and activities and courses for people with physical and mental disabilities, said: 'There is a definite sense of achievement and pride about being involved in the Festival - about being part of a larger community.
'We can take people across the road to the park to see them - it's not just one day of fun, it has a longer term effect too, and the fact that these flags are going to be produced professionally is wonderful as well.'
t To find out more about the Norfolk and Norwich Festival or to book tickets visit www.nnf10.org.uk or call 01603 766400.