News article created on 22 October 2018

River Soar in a new light as Diwali celebrations get afloat

People living in Leicester are being encouraged to feel the benefits of spending time by the water during Diwali as the city’s celebrations head to the riverside.

We will be at the Diwali Light switch-on event at Cossington Street Recreation Ground on Sunday October 28. Visitors to our stand will be able to find out more about our work, learn how the city’s waterways can improve their health and wellbeing and make their own origami boats to float in Limekiln Lock on Diwali Day.

On Diwali Day itself Limekiln Lock, off Abbey Park Road, will be transformed with lights and illuminated sculptures. A local artist has been working with members of the local community to create large floating sculptures which will be released onto the water along with the origami boats created at the switch-on event. A specialist lighting artist will also create a series of light installations around the lock and on the towpath creating a spectacle.

Liz Fleuty, development & engagement manager with the Trust said: "We can’t wait to get involved with the Diwali celebrations and hope that lots of local people come down to the riverside and discover all that their waterways have to offer.

"Our research shows that people are happier and healthier by being next to water yet two thirds of people who live near a waterway never actually visit.

"Diwali is a great opportunity for people to get a whole new perspective on their local waterways and hopefully they will be inspired to build a little bit of time by the water into their daily routines. In doing so they’ll not only have a memorable Diwali but will also make a real difference to their health and sense of wellbeing."

With ever increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and other debilitating conditions in the region, Leicester’s waterways can make a significant contribution to improving wellbeing, with thousands of people living within easy reach of a towpath, canal or river.

Floating boats can be made at our stand at the Cossington Street Recreation Ground between 3pm and 9pm on 28 October. The boats will be illuminated and then floated within Limekiln Lock between 3pm and 9pm on 7 November. Limekiln Lock is a short walk from Belgrave Road and can be accessed from Abbey Park Road.