CHARITIES chosen by the mayor Junab Ali are set to benefit to the tune of thousands of pounds when a huge mela is staged next spring.

The spectacle at the GWR park in Faringdon Road on April 14 is expected to draw more than 10,000 people from the town and surrounding areas, including dignitaries from other areas.

Coun Ali, who is supporting refugee and asylum group the Harbour Project, mental health charity TWIGS, and community radio station Swindon 105.5, said: “It is a huge privilege and honour to be ambassador of this borough and I am delighted to be hosting this event which will help so many people.”

“Charity does so much to change people’s lives and I want to do and help more. We have already done a brilliant job and this needs to continue we can’t stop now.

“I want to give all three of them a substantial amount each so that it can really help them.

“It would be amazing to see businesses of all sizes getting involved with this special occasion.”

Coun Ali added that he wanted the occasion to signify that all of the town’s communities can come together.

Swindon Bangladesh Association will be helping with the event – it is the first time that they have got involved with a cause like this.

Arry Nessa, an author on art and culture in the Bangladeshi community is being brought in from Manchester to help create the Coun Ali’s Boishaki Mela.

Restaurant owner and councillor Abdul Amin is also part of the organising team.

He said: “An event like this is essential in helping the people who need it most, but also in bridging communities.

“We should never divide or segregate different cultures but instead respect each other’s. This will be a momentous day to put in your calendar.”

Organisers are looking for volunteers to help with security, and health & safety at the event.

They are also hoping Swindon businesses will take up one of three sponsorship packages ranging from £250 to £1,000.

The event will run from 11am until 8pm.