South Tyneside Festival parade to involve new individuals and community groups with additional needs.
Jarrow-based WAVES, a group for children and young people with additional needs, has rallied more than 60 staff and service users to take part in the parade and turn their hands to arts and crafts.
Over the past eight weeks, they created costumes, banners and flags and decorations for Land, Air and Sea float; one of many forming the parade.
Others have benefitted from taking part before the parade has begun.
15-strong group of young adults with autism from South Shields-based AutismAble.
This is the first time the group has taken part in the parade, and not only will they be marching alongside the Amusements-themed float, but they will be wearing t-shirts and headdresses and waving banners they have created themselves.
Helen Wallace, co-vice chair of WAVES said: “It’s just been so lovely for our members to take part in this.”
“Sometimes they get left behind in some areas of life and being part of this parade has been wonderful for them.”
Cllr Audrey Huntley, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture, Leisure, and the Visitor Economy, believes the parade showcases the community spirit in the area.
She said: “It’s an absolute celebration for – and by – the people who live and work here.”
“It’s a caring and tight knit community and this Parade has ensured no one is left out.
“It’s fantastic how it’s bringing everyone together for what promises to be a spectacular start to the This is South Tyneside Festival 2023.”
The parade – delivered by The Cultural Spring Charity and an annual fixture in the region’s calendar – will kick start the This Is South Tyneside Festival on Saturday 1 July.