BUNTING, banners and bike-based sculptures are being made in households and community centres across the Tees Valley to decorate the route of the British Cycling National Road Race Championships in Stockton later this month, thanks to generous grant funding.
Grants were available to help fund projects which brought groups and communities together, showcased their creative talents, visually decorated the race route and promoted physical activity via cycling.
SNAPS (Special Needs Activities with Parents’ Support), based in Stockton, were among the community groups awarded money from the second round of funding earlier this year.
The parent-led group was formed in 1999 and seeks to provide activities for children or young people with special or additional needs which their whole family can participate in. Activities often include ice skating, soft play, dancing and cooking.
SNAPS’ project included the intricate interweaving of ribbons into cycle wheels to create a blooming flower effect, a ten foot collage banner and large flags to be waved at the events in a few weeks’ time. The session was overseen by Shirley Wells, Creative Director of Funky Junk Art, who designed the artworks alongside the group’s members.
Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: “A great amount of effort has gone into putting these artworks together and I think everyone involved in this project is rightly proud of the end result. Their designs will be a fantastic visual addition to the race route at the upcoming cycling championships.”
“SNAPS is a wonderful group who give families the chance to enjoy activities together and provide opportunities for support and socialising. It was a great experience to be part of their creative project and I know that they’re all very much looking forward to the Stockton Cycling Festival.”
Hugh McGouran, Chief Executive of the Tees Valley Community Foundation, said: “It is fantastic to see the funding being put to such creative use and to see so many people taking enjoyment from working on the project.
“It’ll be a great sight to see all of the created artworks among the crowds at this summer’s cycling events. They will display to everyone in attendance and watching on television that Stockton Borough, like the wider Tees Valley, is an imaginative and passionate community.”
Ruth Benson, chairperson and founder of SNAPS, said: “SNAPS has been given a great opportunity to participate thanks to the grant funding awarded by the Council and Tees Valley Community Foundation.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed coming together and creating our flower wheels, silk banner and flags – we have learnt so many new skills and had fun along the way with each other and with our artist Shirley Wells.
“SNAPS is looking forward to the Stockton Cycling Festival where we’ll be able to join with everyone to cheer, wave our banner and flags in welcoming the cyclists to our town.”
The grant scheme is being funded by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council in partnership with the Tees Valley Community Foundation.
The Stockton Cycling Festival gets under way on Thursday 23 June and ends on Sunday 26 June following four days of thrilling cycling action.
To learn more about SNAPS, visit www.snapsteesvalley.co.uk or call 01642 530292.
For more information about the Stockton Cycling Festival 2016, visit www.stockton.gov.uk/scf