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About Henley Youth Festival

The Henley Youth Festival is a totally individual event and as far as we know there is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the country!


It is a means of celebrating the talents and achievements of young people in our area and to give them experiences across a wide range of activities that they may not otherwise encounter. We support and promote the performing and visual arts, have some great team and individual sports events and also nurture other skills through workshops and competitions.


The first Henley Youth Festival took place in 1994 and now well over 1,500 young people, ranging from under 5’s to 18 year olds, take part each year in about 35 different events and activities.  The Festival itself takes place over a couple of weeks every March and many participants are busy preparing well in advance!

Who can take part?

All young people who attend or live in the catchment area for one of the following participating schools: Badgemore, Bishopswood, Kidmore End, Nettlebed, Peppard, Sacred Heart, Shiplake Primary, Sonning Common, Trinity, Valley Road, Gillotts, Chiltern Edge; OR attend St Mary's, Rupert House, Shiplake College, Henley College.  If spaces are available, entries from children who live outside the Henley area will be accepted at the Festival's discretion.


Performing Arts

As well as holding events in different Henley venues we also have shows at the local Kenton Theatre. There are events for musicians, dancers, singers and entertainers



There is a fantastic opportunity to try new sports, with taster sessions in different sports for individuals



We run a wide variety of workshops in schools to both enhance the curriculum and to broaden pupils’ experiences.



Whether you are a writer, photographer, film maker, poet, artist, sculptor, there is a competition for you, based around our theme for the year


Sponsors & Partners

Involving the local community is vital for the Youth Festival to ensure events can be accessible to all, and through sponsorship and volunteering we can organise events at little or no cost for participants. Local firms make donations both financially and in kind.



The Festival is run entirely by volunteers with a core Steering Group of 20 members. There are several sub-groups and specific roles involving a further 40 or more helpers, of which the School Representatives play a vital role in liaising with the staff and pupils and encouraging the children to take part in the wide variety of events on offer. During the main Festival days even more people are needed to help with stewarding and all sorts of jobs.

If you would like to get involved please contact Kate Swinburne-Johnson on 07912 208932 or email:


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Reg Charity: No 1044280

The Team

The Team

Steering Group, Trustees & Event Co-ordinators

Below are the names of people who play a key role in the success of Henley Youth Festival. We must also give a special mention to a whole host of other volunteers who help run the events.


Get in touch if you'd like to get involved. New volunteers are always very welcome!

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