Youth Council keen to foster connections, at first-ever Umbrella Market

Invercargill City Youth Council members are keen to connect rangatahi with the wider community, and have invited them to take part in an out-of-the-box market day.

Invercargill’s first-ever Umbrella Market, run by the youth council’s Summer Committee, will be an opportunity for those aged between five and 19 to sell their wares using upside-down umbrellas as their stalls.

The event will be held at Otākaro Park – fittingly, near Invercargill’s large umbrella sculpture – on Saturday February 10, from 1pm until 4pm.

The market day would be a platform for young people to not only showcase their own creativity, but provide them with an opportunity to engage with a diverse cross-section of the community.

Youth Councillor Liam Calder said events like the Umbrella Market encourage rangatahi to explore key learnings in life, such as encouraging confidence in community interactions, negotiating skills, and the value of money.

There would be a huge variety of products on offer: from handmade arts and crafts through to second-hand toys and books, Calder said.

While those who attended would be able to enjoy perusing the wares at each stall, the wider impact of the event would be substantial.

“Offering opportunities to engage young people in our city benefits our whole community: it fosters new skills, it encourages them to share their views, and enables them to be lifelong participants in the civic process.

“As youth councillors, we feel very fortunate to be part of a process that helps bring ideas such as the Umbrella Market to life,” Calder said.

Invercargill Councillor Darren Ludlow said it was positive to see the Invercargill City Youth Council connecting with their peers.

“Empowering youth to engage with their community is not just an investment in their future – it’s an investment in the future of the community itself,” he said.