Everyone taking part – a day of community and celebration as Livability goes to Parallel...

Parallel London run/push event;
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford;
4th September 2016.
© Pete Jones

Livability were proud to be one of the Platinum charity partners of a new ground breaking event – Parallel London – which took place on Sunday 4th September.

Thousands made their way to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London’s Stratford to join in the fun at this first ever all-inclusive mass-participation push-run event.

Hundreds of participants signed up and pushed or ran the route which featured distances of 10k, 5k, 1k and 100m. Parallel also created a specially-designed sensory route, the first of its kind ever created. All ages and abilities took part. Participants were cheered by Livability volunteers along the way and at the finish line, then stayed on to relax, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the Festival that was spread over the park.

Adam Bonner, Associate Director of Livability, was delighted at the success of the event:

“Through our disability services and community projects, Livability works for inclusion for all. That’s why we’re so proud to have been a central part of this all-inclusive and accessibility focused event as a Platinum partner. It was great to welcome so many people into our Community and Enterprise Zone to meet our team, explain more about what we do and encouraging everyone to take part.”

One of Livability’s service users, David, from Livability John Grooms Court, who took part in the push/run 5km race, told us, “I think it’s an amazing event. I was so lucky to be able to come and experience it. It’s been great being able to take part – I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Everyone Taking Part at the Parallel Festival

As part of the Festival, Livability created an interactive and fun-filled Community and Enterprise Zone on the theme of Everyone Taking Part. The zone was a hive of activity with all-age participants, their friends, families and visitors to the Festival visiting the zone and getting involved.

[x_blockquote cite=”Lauren Taylor, Livability service user at Talbot Manor” type=”left”]”Events like Parallel London are important because they bring people together. You have the opportunity meet new people, both able-bodied and disabled.”[/x_blockquote]

Some of the highlights included a range of exciting activities created by the Livability Holton Lee staff. This team of horticultural specialists based in Poole help the people we support to enjoy better wellbeing, to grow life skills and build friendships. Everyone had the opportunity flex their green fingers and pot up a plant of their choice, which they got to take home.

Alternatively, they could chill out in the “community garden” – a calm oasis amid all the activity – and take the time to learn about and practise some mindfulness. Our younger visitors also enjoyed our amazing bubble maker and a stream of beautiful bubbles, big and small, graced the zone throughout the day.

Everyone who visited the Community and Enterprise Zone took part in bringing a giant art mural to life over the course of the event. Created especially for Parallel London and featuring a vibrant community scene, young and old alike helped to colour in the 20-metre-long artwork. The final result was a riot of vibrant colour, pattern and shape – and an original work of community art was born.

Andrew Douglass, of Innovision, the events company behind Parallel London, said:

“Live events like Parallel bring to life the benefits of inclusivity, while connecting people to a new and exciting experience of disability. Everyone coming together to celebrate and have fun will create more connected communities long after the event is over.”

Storytelling and sharing stories of community was a big feature of the Community and Enterprise Zone. Storyteller Hannah Macdowall encouraged individuals to share their personal stories of community and what taking part meant to them.

Participants could also get involved in filming during the day, offering their thoughts on community life and what it means to them to take part. The film is now being made and will be featured on the Livability website in a few weeks!

Chloe, a volunteer from West London, explained why she enjoyed the day:

“I loved cheering people across the finish line and being able to share in their happiness. And I really enjoyed talking to visitors to our Community and Enterprise Zone – it was such fun to meet new people. Livability do such great work – everyone wants to feel included and feel part of their community and Livability help make that possible.”

Livability at Parallel London – in pictures

Parallel Facebook gallery

Livability would like to thank everyone involved in making Parallel such a wonderful day. Make sure you see all the photos from the day on our Facebook page.