Socially-distanced fun for young people at the Town Gardens

By Barrie Hudson - 29 July 2020

CommunitySocial Enterprise

Circus skills, podcasting and music-making are among the activities planned for young people in a free special event at Swindon's Town Gardens.

  • The Swindon Summer Bowl was designed to allow safe social distancing

    The Swindon Summer Bowl was designed to allow safe social distancing

The Mechanics' Institution Trust has announced its Creative Summer Youth Project, which is set for next month at the Swindon Summer Bowl.

The bowl is a specially-designed venue which allows safe social distancing.

A total of 48 spaces are available for young people aged 12-17 who live in the Town Centre, Broadgreen, Old Town or Rodbourne. Participants will be split into age groups of 12-14 and 15-17 and will be able to attend a morning or afternoon session during the week of Monday, 10 August to Friday, 14 August or that of Monday, 17 August to Friday, 21 August.

Each space would normally cost £135, but thanks to funding from the High Sheriff Award and Wiltshire Community Foundation's Coronavirus Response Grant the Trust is able to offer them at no charge.

Project coordinator Hannah Parry said: “There will be a range of activities for young people to enjoy including music, podcasting, film-making, arts and crafts, circus skills, games and sports - all run by professional arts and youth workers. 

"It's a great opportunity for young people to get active, be inspired, use their imaginations, be creative and blow off some steam after the long period of lockdown.” 

Although the project is primarily for young people from the central areas of Swindon, the Trust is happy for young people from other areas to apply. Should all 48 spaces not be filled, the remaining ones will be offered to young people from other areas.

The project team will be following the safety guidance provided by the Government and The National Youth Agency, and all activities have been carefully planned and risk assessed with covid-19 as well as other risks in mind.

This project forms part of the wider community work of the trust for Central Swindon. 

Hannah said: “Lockdown has been a really challenging time for everyone but especially for lots of young people. We will be creating a warm and welcoming space for them to relax in, socialise, meet new friends, try new activities, learn new skills and be able to enjoy their summer.”

An application form can be found at 

A Facebook event page can be found at

The trust has been running summer youth projects from its base at Central Community Centre over the past few years. 

This has included the Sharing Swindon’s Story project which ran from 2018 to last year and, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, engaged 35 young people from across Swindon in exploring and telling the community and cultural story of Swindon, linked to the Mechanics’ Institute, through creative arts. 

This project can be viewed online at


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