An eco-inspired float, designed, built and staffed by people supported by learning disability charity Hft, stole the show at the recent, green-themed Market Harborough Carnival, raising over £1000 for adults with learning disabilities and winning a prize for their sustainable float.
Hft was keen to involve the people it supports in the project from start to finish, ensuring the voices of learning-disabled people were listened to and that they were able to design something that mattered to them. The charity got together the people who attend their local day services and voted on their specific focus for the design of the Hft Leicestershire float, choosing ‘Save the Bees and the Butterflies’.
A design and colouring competition was held, where the people Hft support, submitted their float concepts, to be put to a vote on social media.
The winning 2D paper design then had to be turned into a functional float, and the entire team was involved in making it a reality.
The float was adorned with handmade decorations made from recycled materials, all created by local learning-disabled people, including papier mâché bees and ‘bee bombs’ – cardboard containers filled with pollen-rich wildflower seeds, which had been donated by relatives.
On the day of the carnival, the Hft float set off with the parade and local bands at 11am, travelling through Market Harborough, along streets lined with residents.
Lucinda, a supported individual involved in the project, said: ‘It was a dream come true. It was my best day ever!’
Linzi Selby, Registered Area Manager for Leicestershire, said: ‘This project was a real team effort; with staff and the people we support, both being fundamental to all stages. It was great to get stuck in and see the design and ideas of the people we support, come to life.’