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Children’s Day event attracts record numbers

03 July 2023

Around 8,000 children, young people and families attended a free family fun day at Howard Davis Park on Sunday 2 July to celebrate Jersey’s Children’s Day. 

The event was supported by almost 50 charities, community organisations and businesses, who provided free entertainment, activities, information, and advice. A team of 30 volunteers from across Government supported the delivery of the event. 

Around 100 young people provided six hours of live entertainment during the event – organised by Youth Arts Jersey – including performances from the Jersey Scout Association, and Love Theatre. Families also visited a community art project featuring dreamcatchers created by school children and young people. The art project was supported by ArtHouse Jersey. 

Children's Day is held annually, on 3 July, following a recommendation made by a Citizen's Panel set up after the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, IJCI. The IJCI published its final report of the failings in Jersey's childcare system over many decades on 3 July 2017. As a result, the Citizen's Panel called for 3 July to be Jersey's Children's Day to remember the past and a day to look to the future. 

The first celebrations were held were in 2020, and children and young people were invited to plant a tree in their school or community. The first public celebration – following the lifting of COVID restrictions – was held in 2022. 

Both public events have been organised by the Children’s Day Steering Group, which includes members of the Independent Survivor’s Steering Group. 

Cheyenne O’Connor, of the Independent Survivors Steering Group, said: “Children’s Day is a chance to celebrate, but it’s also an important day to reflect. This wonderful family event has come out of a dark chapter of the Island’s history. This celebration doesn’t change our history – but it does allow us to make a difference today and make sure that we create a better future for all of our children, especially the most vulnerable."

Assistant Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Louise Doublet – who opened the event – said: “It was a privilege to be able to open the event and welcome thousands of children and families to Howard Davis Park. 

“On behalf of those children and their families, I’d like to thank everyone who made Children’s Day possible: the event is a huge undertaking, which requires hours of work from dozens of people. Every volunteer, organiser, community group, and business, has played an important role in creating a memorable day for families. 

"I have seen first hand the passion for helping to create a positive future for our children. This Government is learning to be better and continually striving to create improvements for children and families. Children’s Day is symbolic and I hope that all children in Jersey know how important they are, and how much we value their voice, on Children’s Day and every day.”

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