Cocoso the Camel wandered the streets of Smethwick last month, with a bunch of eager primary school children we’ve had the pleasure of working with from Victoria Park Primary Academy – just another day in the life of RIO! We’ve been working intensively with the Academy since 2012, and this latest project, ‘Memories of Spice from Smethwick’ sees the young pupils (followed by a film camera crew from BBC Television!) take to the streets to collect old spice stories traced back through many generations.
The project supports their wider social enterprise, which the young people created themselves after researching what was important to themselves and their community. Their social enterprise, Ballot Street Spice, ‘blends spices to create opportunity’ (find out more about Ballot Street Spice on their website).
Ballot Street Spice helps to bring the community together through celebrating the diversity that exists within the community, and they use spices to create this sense of ‘togetherness’. The group of young people collected recipes from their parents and grandparents and now sell their successful spices through their website and out and about!
Keep up to date with the young people here. In the meantime, watch the video below of the children and Cocoso the Camel wandering the streets with their Ballot Street Spice banners, and listen out for their song – written and sung by the children themselves! The children worked with the Therapeutic Media Company produced the film and ran a recording workshop for the children.