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Young people looking for inspiration should make sure next Saturday’s (8 April) Youth Fest event at HOUSE in the Eden Centre is on the calendar, in the diary and logged into the smartphone.poster

The afternoon and evening event will offer teenagers a great chance to chat to local celebrities who prove it is possible to follow your dreams and succeed.

Locally born rapper Daniel Andrews, now achieving nationwide success under his stage name of Tierz, will be at the event, along with DJ and producer Macky Gee and other guests including Harry Shotta and Mollie Collins.

And it’s not just music that offers a route to stardom for those with talent and determination. Home grown boxer Lewis Syrett, who is about to have his first professional fight, will be at the event to talk about what it takes to achieve sporting success.

“We want young people in Edenbridge to realise that if they have a dream they should follow that dream and work hard to achieve it,” explained West Kent Youth Worker Cheryl Banks.

Cheryl and colleague Roxanne Frost have put the Youth Fest event together based on feedback from the teenagers who use the HOUSE drop-in centre.

“The ideas all came from the young people,” said Cheryl. “That’s why the workshops have a focus on mental health as well as on graffiti art and why the evening sessions focus on making music and writing lyrics.”

There are workshops throughout the day, which runs from 1pm to 9pm, with a range of organisations providing useful information, including the Kenward Trust, which specialises in drug and alcohol issues.

The free event is open to 11 to 19 year-olds, and as an added incentive, teenagers will receive a free draw ticket every time they attend one of the seminars. Other attractions include a ‘smoothie bike’ and a chance to get ‘up close and personal’ with reptiles from HJW Exotics.

Local companies including Bradford Electrical and Champion Timber have supported the event and free food and refreshments will be available.

Youth Fest is the first event of its kind to have been held since West Kent won a Kent County Council contract to provide youth services across the Sevenoaks district, and is likely to be a model for similar events elsewhere.


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