A NEW group set up to promote social equality through the arts is launching its first night next week.

Creating Change is the result of four like-minded activists from Wivenhoe, Sally Wilcox, Anthony Clavane, Kate Dunton and Mike Harwood, who wanted to expand the work they’d already begun with their ‘Conflab Corner’ events.

Sally explains: “At the last election we wanted to do something a little bit different to the ordinary knocking on doors campaigning and so we began Conflab Corner.

“We discovered a lot of people just wanted to be heard about the things that were troubling them, across party political boundaries. Things like fairness, justice and equality, and so that’s what we started to do, we began to listen.”

Or more precisely provide a platform for people to be heard outside shops and on town centre streets in the likes of Harwich, Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe.

“Then one day,” Sally adds, “we thought there should be an element of fun to all this, and that’s what Creating Change is all about.”

Starting with a music night next week at the Wivenhoe Cricket Club, the idea is to mix entertainment, whether that’s poetry, theatre or live art, with talks from local charity groups and campaigners in between.

In Wivenhoe that will mean music from local singer/songwriter Lou Terry, Lighthouse Jam – led by Abi Cunliffe and writer and journalist Anthony Clavane – and a DJ set from Ben Howard interspersed with talks by Vivienne Wiggins from homeless charity Beacon House and members of the Syrian refugee community in Colchester.

The Creating Change launch is at the Wivenhoe Cricket Clubhouse off Rectory Road, on Friday, January 19, from 7.30pm to 11pm. Tickets are £5 and £3, available from creatingchangecolchester.com