PEOPLE from all walks of life came together as one community on Saturday for a family fun day that aimed to unite Walcot residents.

After months of planning, the area around the Walcot Library and Community Centre was transformed into a multicultural street party with music and entertainment from all over the world which coincided with the opening of the £10m Sussex Place regeneration scheme,

With a packed programme of events including Irish dancing, Nepalese singing, children’s entertainment, a barbecue and a Disney-themed parade, the family fun day was organised by Walcot Charity Shop director Sue Martin and Swindon Borough Councillor Derique Montaut as part of a series of events held in memory of the late Labour MP Jo Cox.

With the space adorned with flags representing almost every country across the globe, the get together hoped to spread a message of love not hate and celebrate the late MP’s belief that we have more in common than what divides us.

Chairman of the Walcot Community Shop and Library, Peter Mallinson, wanted to pay thanks to Derique and Sue for all of their hard work in organising the successful gathering after families turned out in their hundreds for the occasion.

“A huge amount of work has been put in by these two which is tremendous,” he said.

“If nothing else, this event shows that different communities can work together and pull this off. We have had the Gurkhas here since the early morning helping put out everything and it is so nice to see everyone come together.

“It all started when Derique spoke to us about doing something to commemorate Jo Cox and from that, we decided not make it bigger? With all of things that have gone on in Manchester and London, we thought an event like this would give people the opportunity to get together.

“We have lots of different communities living in one area here but there is not one big thing for them to get together and ideally, it would be great to keep this going every year.”

All the money raised on the day was donated to the British Red Cross’ UK Solidarity Fund to help victims of terrorist attacks anywhere in the UK.

The event was formally opened by mayor Maureen Penny and well-wishers were also treated to a heartfelt poem written by local poet Tony Hillier in honour of Jo Cox, called Community Coalition In Common.

Derique, who proudly wore a Yorkshire rose to honour Jo, said: “What makes this pleasing is that the local community have come out to support this. What was an idea has ballooned into a major festival and put on lots of different things for everyone.

“We appreciate that the residents have got behind this event and we wanted to create an atmosphere which was joyous and happy.

“The theme is quite inclusive and I think it shows communities are working together and this could be the start of an event that brings people together.

“We live in troubled times and we get racial and religious bigotry. If we worked together as a community, it would be difficult for people to come out and dismay others. We want this to be the best place to work, play and live and we hope today has been a multicultural event for all.

“As well as doing this in memory of Jo Cox, it is important for us to put this on because a lot of people in the Parks and Walcot area came here from London and in that respect London is very important to us.”