Liverpool NOW Festival 2021
Established in 2015, by Merseyside Youth Association’s RAISE Team, The NOW Festival aims to engage young people in a creative discussion around the topic of mental health, through whatever ‘NOW’ issue is selected for that year. 2021 will be the NOW Festival’s 6th year.
Previous themes have included: ‘Mental Health and Technology’, ‘Mental Health and the Rights of the Child’, ‘My Education, My Mental Health’, ‘Rise Up: Adverse Childhood Experience’, and ‘Mental Health & Belonging’.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel now more than ever, children and young people’s voices need to be listened to regarding how COVID has affected their lives, along with messages of hope for the future and what change they want to see. We are all overcoming so many obstacles during the pandemic, and we do not want it to stop our children and young people having the NOW Festival as their platform to have their voices be heard. So, 2021 NOW Festival will be virtual for the first time ever!
The aims of this year’s virtual NOW Festival 2021:
- To present a virtual performance piece online.
- To engage children and young people in creative discussion around mental health and COVID-19.
- To facilitate the production of high-quality performance pieces centred around the chosen ‘Now’ issue – listening to the voices of children and young people during COVID-19.
- To celebrate the creativity of young people in a fun and inspirational environment that will be a catalyst for positive change.
View the slides from the launch session here.
With an estimated 1 in 6 young people having some form of diagnosable mental distress, the NOW Festival provides a platform from which to raise awareness, challenge stigma, and explore ways of building resilience and improving mental health. The NOW Festival usually takes place during children and young people’s mental health week and gives young people the opportunity to discuss, learn and explore mental health whilst gaining an amazing amount of experience. The festival is undermined by the CAMHS Partnership ethos that in Liverpool, ‘Mental Health is Everybody’s Business’.
We’re inviting schools or youth groups from across the region to take part; each group will be assigned a NOW Festival mentor and they’ll be required to create a virtual piece around the theme of ‘Listening to the voices of children and young people during COVID 19′. The 2021 festival will be flexible to allow for any groups or bubbles that may need to isolate, and we will be offering you full support throughout the process!