Monday, 20 September 2021

Youth festival refreshed for 22nd year

A RANGE of new events will take place at this year’s Henley Youth Festival.

A RANGE of new events will take place at this year’s Henley Youth Festival.

They include a young reporter competition, run in conjunction with the Henley Standard, and a workshop where youngsters will be able to brush up on their presentation skills and public speaking. Meanwhile, tennis has been added to this year’s out-of-school programme.

The volunteer-run festival, now in its 22nd year, will run from March 14 to 22 and this year’s theme is “Me In My World”.

Jo Dickson, who will co-chair this year’s event with Kate Swinburne-Johnson, said: “I’m excited and looking forward to it. We have got a team of fantastic people.

“We thought the theme would encompass the children themselves, their families, where they live and the environment. It’s a broad theme that children can use however they want to.”

Mrs Swinburne-Johnson said: “The festival is such a wonderful event and unique so it’s something we want to keep going. We’re really enthusiastic about it.” This year’s Stonor Run, which is sponsored by the Henley Standard, will be held in the grounds of Gillotts School because of repairs being carried out at Stonor Park’s historic chapel, which mean there would be no car park or toilets.

The run will be held at 1.45pm on Saturday, March 21 with four races for year three to six children. Parking on site will be limited. Last year’s run was cancelled due to the poor weather over the winter.

The festival’s gig night will be expanded to include a DJ set, organised by Ross Duncan, a student at The Henley College. It will be held at in Lovibonds brewery having previously been held at Henley Youth Centre, which is now closed.

The dance event has been extended to feature two sections due to the popularity of last year’s event.

It will be held at the Kenton Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21 with children in year four and above on the first day and years three and under pupils on the following day.

The new Henley Youth Choir will perform on the evening of Saturday, March 21 at the Kenton under the direction of conductor Benjamin Goodson. It is hoped the choir will be joined by pupils from Gillotts and Badgemore Primary School.

The festival has also launched a “friends” scheme whereby parents and visitors whose children have benefited from the event make a small donation towards the cost.

Organisers are appealing for more volunteers to help out this year. For more information, visit

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