First year performing arts students as part of their Creative Traineeship with RIO, were set the challenge of being responsible for the planning and delivering of an ‘elves workshop’ at Devonport Guildhall’s annual Christmas Fayre, offering children and young people the opportunity to get involved in interactive activities linked to Christmas whilst their parents looked around the stalls.
The group of 8 City College Plymouth students were responsible for the planning, preparation and delivery of the activities, which included being responsible for a small budget, sourcing materials and liaising with Guildhall staff around room set up and logistics of the activities they had planned.
Full of enthusiasm and creativity, the creative trainees decided to put a spin on the usual ‘Santa’s grotto’ idea, to instead encourage children and young people to come with them on a ‘Find Santa tour’, telling children a story that he had gone missing and they needed help finding him in order to get everyone’s presents delivered.
Each of the students adopted their own character and took the children around the building looking for clues as to where Santa could be. On finding the clues, the children and elves met the evil ‘Jack Frost’ who wouldn’t let them passed without the children answering some Christmas questions. Once completed, the children were told that Santa’s reindeers were poorly too, so the ‘elves’ took the children to the workshop to ‘make their own reindeer’ to give to Santa when they find him.
Children ‘making reindeer’ on their ‘Find Santa’ tour
Some of the creative trainees preparing for the elves workshop
The tour ended with the children finding Santa and being given a special Christmas card with their individual names on it.
As well as the ‘Find Santa tour’ they also held activities in the ‘Elves workshop’ which children could take part in. The young people stayed in their characters all day and walked around the building encouraging visitors to visit Column Bakehouse downstairs and look around the various stalls and activities, bringing the Christmas Fayre to life.
The Creative Traineeship students were an absolute delight to have around the building and they played a huge part in contributing to a successful event, for which we thank them very much. They took on the challenge confidently and approached it in a professional manner, considering all aspects carefully and weighing up how their decisions would affect the continuing fayre around them. They maintained being in character for the duration of the event, and based on the smiles and shrieks from all the children who joined the ‘Find Santa’ tour I am confident that they fulfilled their roles well!