The local community in Huyton has come together to remember Olivia Pratt Korbel on what would have been her 10th birthday.
The Community Spirit Festival took place on Tuesday 13 June 2023 at Court Hey Park.
Olivia’s life was tragically taken far too soon back in August last year, but the Head Teacher at her school – St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School – along with the Head Teachers at Malvern Primary School, Roby Park and St Margaret Mary’s Infant School have teamed up to arrange the Community Spirit Festival that not only celebrates and remembers Olivia, but also shows how the community has come together.
At the event, Radio City’s Leanne Campbell, along with Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, welcomed pupils, their parents and the wider community to the first of what will be an annual event.
The Head Teachers have been working with pupils on a number of joint projects that were showcased during the evening. This include art and gardening activities, a joint choir and dance performance choreographed by Jennifer Ellison’s theatre school, Jelli Studios. Many of Olivia’s friends took part in the organisation of the event, as well as the performances.
The schools have also come together to produce a short film which was premiered on the night. It’s a poem that has been developed by performance poet Curtis Watt, working with local school children. Curtis ran a number of workshops with local schoolchildren seeking their views on their local community. The views of young people have been translated into a powerful poem called “The power of people” which is delivered by the young people, teachers and the local community and has been turned into a short film which was aired at the event. You can view the video here.
The Head Teachers from the schools – Rebecca Wilkinson from St Margaret Mary’s Junior School, Tony James from Malvern Primary School, Kathryn Allen from Roby Park School and Louise Byrne from St Margaret Mary’s Infant School – arranged tonight’s event.
They said “Olivia was such as popular pupil and it’s incomprehensible what happened just 10 months’ ago.
“We all wanted to mark Olivia’s birthday – not only this year but in future years – given she had such a huge impact in our community.
“We are so delighted that so many people turned out to join us to celebrate and remember Olivia on her birthday.
“We’re also hugely proud to share the short film our young people have been instrumental in developing. It really gives a powerful message around the power of people.”
Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, added “Tonight’s event clearly demonstrated the strong community spirit here in Huyton.
“I found the “Power of people” poem, developed and delivered by our young people, truly inspiring and thought-provoking. Their performances too throughout the event were amazing – well done to you all.”
Cheryl Korbel, Olivia’s mother, and Rebecca Wilkinson, Head Teacher at St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School, where Olivia was a pupil, concluded the evening by thanking everyone for attending and showing their support.
Both Greystone Bridge and Archway Road bridge have been illuminated in pink tonight in memory of Olivia – pink was Olivia’s favourite colour.