Hundreds of people enjoyed a community fun day at a Wellingborough park on Sunday (18 August). The day of music, entertainment and information was organised by the Castle Fields Community Group, after they were awarded £2,500 of government money to help bring the diverse neighbourhood together.
The group successfully bid for the money from the government's Community First Fund, which was created to help local areas become better places to live. They were awarded the cash after showing that a community fun day could provide an opportunity for people from the many cultural backgrounds in the area to meet and overcome prejudices.
The event, which ran between 11am and 4pm, saw a wide range of entertainment and activities all centred around Castle Field park's recently restored 100-year-old bandstand.
Edeltraud Freund, from the community group, said: "Ever since the bandstand was restored last year, we have been determined to use the park to bring the community together. The fun day had lots for people to do and enjoy, but it was also about celebrating our diversity and sorting out issues by bringing different parts of our neighbourhoods all together at the same time. We also took the opportunity to talk to people about any further improvements they would like to see in the park and other projects they would like to be involved in that could help strengthen our community even more."
Castle Fields park is in the town's Castle ward, which is the most culturally diverse area of Wellingborough. The ward was chosen last year as one of the 600 areas in England eligible to benefit from the government funding and has been awarded nearly £35,000 over the four-year project. The money is divided up based on recommendations from a local Community First panel, which in Castle ward is supported by Wellingborough Council and made up of community members and local councillors. Any community group, large or small, based in Castle ward, can bid for some of the money.
Cllr Brian Emerson, who heads up the Castle ward panel, said: "We already have a strong community spirit in Castle ward, which is shown by the hard work of the many local organisations and community groups that we have here. What we want to do now is strengthen that community even further by bringing residents from the many different backgrounds together, in a fun and productive way. We used the day to increase involvement of volunteers, explore the possibility of social groups being set up, and overcome prejudices and lack of understanding about different customs."