Festival of Suffolk
The Festival of Suffolk is a celebration of the county for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, delivered by the Suffolk Lieutenancy, which is headed by the Lord Lieutenant, Lady Clare Euston. Billed as the county’s largest ever community event, it takes the form of five months of events and activities across Suffolk, bringing people together in joyful celebration after the privations of the previous two years, and delivering a legacy for generations to come in the shape of a substantial community fund.
The Festival’s hub is a small voluntary board chaired by Mark Pendlington DL with Tim Holder, Paul Torrington and Erika Clegg, supported by a small team in Mark’s office and at the Suffolk Community Foundation. This sits at the core of a highly supportive working group and a fantastic set of event and activity teams, focusing on the amazing things that happen as part of the Festival.
The board’s purpose was to set the vision, values and connections for these events to ensure they were cohesive, focused on the same outcomes and that there was a shared feel to all Festival activities. This project was delivered as an aspect of Erika’s voluntary role on the Festival of Suffolk board.
Early on in the planning stages of the Festival we met people responsible for organising other big events across the UK in 2022. Not just the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee but also the Commonwealth Games and Festival UK 2022, now called Unboxed. This is headed by Martin Green CBE, and we met as his team was evaluating bids to deliver the festival’s events. He shared their values with us, and as the Festival of Suffolk is keen to align with the wider context of 2022 celebrations, the hub team agreed to include these as three of our own values. They are Open, Original, Optimistic - which neatly summed up the sense of community, diversity, comeback, and legacy that we wanted to communicate.
This set the tone for our values, so whereas Larkenby normally recommends phrases rather than words, this meant the Festival values would be single words with explanations. We built out from a strategic wheel which included six areas of focus designed to encompass all communities, generations and lives in the county. We set the rallying cry that “This is for everybody” and the goal of “We aim to build a £5m Festival Fund by 2024, administered in partnership with Suffolk Community Foundation. Grants will support charities, community groups and social enterprises whose applications meet the Festival values, in perpetuity.”
To support this, we needed to bring a few more values into the list that would demonstrate Suffolk’s character, needs and communities. We agreed upon United, Compassionate and Of Suffolk.
Festival of Suffolk's Values
All event and community partners were provided with the strategy setting out vision, mission, sectors and events, and the values. These partners range from activities unique to the Festival and new for 2022, to large established events looking to align, and community events of a wide range of shapes and sizes.
In addition, those who shared the Festival of Suffolk’s core values were invited to use the Festival logo and a stunning symbol. This symbol was created for the Festival, using its values as core to the brief, by a gifted amateur artist who was selected and commissioned from a talented set of applicants for the opportunity.