A banjo playin’, patio layin’ Brixton lad is preparing to take the reins of Kingston’s most iconic festival this summer.

New director Jeremy Sachs, 29, will be working with Aniela Zaba, director of Creative Youth, to deliver the International Youth Arts Festival to an audience of about 30,000 people.

Mr Sachs said: “The people I am working with are fantastic. “I think the support from the people I have spoken to and the community is thus far overwhelming.”

His most recent role involved organising an arts programme for disadvantaged children in London.

He worked with ex-offenders, asylum seekers, and refugees.

He said: “Even though they have got issues such as where they are going to sleep, seeing them still have time to engage with the arts, the confidence that gives them, to have fun and to be in a safe environment, and have ownership of something, is great.”

Ms Zaba said that having a new festival director will allow her to expand the year-round activities that Creative Youth offer.

The International Youth Arts Festival will be held over three weeks in July. Last year it attracted about 7,000 participants and 30,000 viewers.

Mr Sachs said: “I am not local to Kingston, but I had been aware of what International Youth Arts Festival did.

“I felt it was pretty exciting, so unique for young people in the arts, in the way that it is not just them making the work but helping run things. It is a lovely support model for the artists.”

Alongside his work with children, Mr Sachs plays the banjo and is part of a jazz and bluegrass troupe called the Green Rock River Band.

An ex-landscaper, he also enjoys laying patios and gardens.

Ms Zaba said: “Jeremy has vast event management experience as well as a passion and commitment to outreach and engagement work and we are delighted.”