Search for Thurrock’s hidden gems

Thurrock-based groups are hoping people will help them uncover the borough’s secret treasures in a new Home Office-funded project just launched.
Thameside-based Creative Blast, along with Thurrock Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) are launching Hidden Gems, a brand-new community project uncovering some of the great creativity and community activity going on in the borough.
Throughout February and March, Hidden Gems will be on the search for some of Thurrock’s unspoken or secret treasures.
Steve Lawes, Hidden Gems Community Coordinator, explained: “We want to hear about people’s favourite places, events, community groups, and the unsung heroes who bring joy to their everyday life.
“We will then display a photo exhibition of 100 people’s responses, which will be on shown at Thameside Theatre before touring local libraries and community centres later in the year.”
These stories will be gathered by speaking to people throughout January and February in Thurrock’s community centres, high streets, shopping centres, cafes and pubs.
Another strand of the project will galvanize the creative communities and artists who live and work in Thurrock, and to pair them up with community groups and schools who are looking to learn new skills and artforms.
“Creativity in all of its forms will be a catalys for communit cohesion, education and sharing,” said Steve.
Artists who have ideas for workshops should contact the project ideally by tomorrowand successful applicants will be paid to deliver workshops in community groups.
Workshops are free for community groups and any interested community groups should contact the project before 2nd February to book classes.
There will also be free opportunities to take part in creative workshops throughout February half term.
Hidden Gems will finish with a festival at various locations throughout Grays on Saturday 17th March, at which various project artists and creative groups will hold interactive demonstrations of their talents for people to take part in.
The day will conclude with a performance at Thameside Theatre at 3pm.
If you’re interested in volunteering, running an arts workshop, getting your community group involved, signing up as a participant, or just finding out a bit more about the project, then get in touch at or