The sun was shining bright in the sky, the birds were singing and spirits couldn’t have been any higher for our annual dose of fun in the sun. The day got off to a great start when we were invited over to BBC Radio Humberside to chat with James Hoggarth about what we do here at Best Hope and our plans for the Summertime Blowout.  It was a brilliant experience to be a guest in a BBC radio studio, and we think that Augustus looks right at home behind a mic!

Augustus in the Radio StudioAfter our brush with fame it was full steam ahead over to Spring Bank Community Centre to prep for the festivities ahead.  A huge thank you goes out to Mad Mo, for allowing us to use the venue for our festivities and for being such an all round helpful person! It was all hands to the deck to get ready, but the musical stylings of DJ Lumydas kept everyone upbeat and it didn’t feel like work!

Community ForwardThe ever professional ladies from Community Forward put on an excellent spread, and looked delightful with it, with one guest remarking that they looked like air hostesses. A true delight for your taste buds and your eyes! Their African cuisine was a hit with the guests and for those with more toned down tastes, the BBQ was a winner too.

Caroline and Emma from the Shine Academy did a fabulous job of keeping the younger guests entertained, whether it was with face painting, making the madly popular loom bands, playing games or jumping around on the bouncy castle. The girls has a massive job on their hands but they came through admirably and the children had a fantastic time playing, crafting and being active.

Afro FashionsAlong with Best Hope, members from other community organisations came along to help make the day a success. Representing BAMEEN – the Black and Minority Ethnic Environmental Network was Dawda Jatta.  BAMEEN promotes environmental awareness initiatives to BME communities in Hull, including an eat what you grow project which saves you money and helps you to get fit at the same time. Also at the Blowout was a representative from the Carers Information Support Service, who offer advice and support for people who are caring for individuals with a long term health condition or disability.

As well as community organisations, local businesses that came to support the event included Afro Fashions who brought along a selection of their stunning, distinctive clothing and jewellery and Aloez Diamond, an Independent Distributor for Forever Living Products.  Uzoamaka promoted the health and lifestyle benefits of using Aloe Vera and her associated business opportunity.

Freetown MixThe talented guys from Freetown Mix – part of Trans Art performance group, did a hot set after DJ Lumydas had warmed up the guests, and got the crowd in the mood for an energetic dance competition. The competition was fierce and some serious moves were made on the dance floor! All of that exertion was enough to make even onlookers thirsty and so Stephanie, Michelle and Birgit were thankfully on hand with ice cool cocktails.

The event was well attended, with approximately 200-250 guests from a diverse cross section of the community on a weekend when there were several high profile events in the area. Councillor Gill Kennett remarked, ”

What an amazing atmosphere and the people were so friendly. Loved it.”

A fantastic time was had by guests and volunteers alike and plans are already underway to make next years event bigger and better than ever!

If you’d like to experience one our unique events for yourself and try out some fabulous cuisine from Community Forward, be sure to join us at the launch of Afro Food Lounge on 22nd August. Click here for more details.