This weekend there will be a huge free family-friendly event takes place in parks and on streets across Barking and Dagenham.
The Thank You Roadshow will take place over the weekend of Saturday, 3 until Monday, 5 July, and promises to have something for everyone, with live singers, acrobats, drummers, stilt performers, and performances from youngsters at local dance schools.
With the government delaying the lifting of lockdown until 19 July, Barking and Dagenham Council has been forced to make several last-minute changes to the event in order to make sure it meets current Covid-19 guidelines.
On Saturday and Sunday, residents will be able to catch the exciting extravaganza in parks across the borough, with the fun scheduled to appear at different times throughout the day. This will be a Covid secure event, where residents will be seated in up to groups of six, so they can enjoy the event safely.
Then on Monday, the fun takes to the streets starting with a special flag-raising and a two-minute silence at Barking Town Hall at 10am, before stopping at 1pm for the Nation’s Toast and finishing in a doorstep ‘clap for our heroes’ at 8pm.
The event is part of a country-wide thank you celebration and coincides with the first national NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “We wanted to say thank you to the NHS, to key workers, and to our community. That’s what this event is really all about – saying thank you to you all for your efforts.
“We have all had an incredibly challenging last year and we’ve seen streets fall silent, skies with no planes in them, parks with no children playing in them, and families kept apart.
“That’s why this event is so important and why even Covid-19 couldn’t put the brakes on our roadshow. We were determined to find a way to make changes and let people safely enjoy some free fun with their friends and family – now we just need some sun back!”
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement, Councillor Saima Ashraf, said: “I am so happy we are pushing forward with our Thank You Roadshow, so that we can give thanks to the NHS, our key workers and our community for all their commitment and efforts this past year. The whole community have stuck together and shown they are resilient, and this roadshow is our way of showing our appreciation to them.”
A full schedule of the festivities, which is sponsored by West Ham United midfielder Mark Noble, can be seen at lbbd.gov.uk/thank-you-roadshow.