Festival cheer to help unite Sheffield community

A perfect day for going to the park for these boys
A perfect day for going to the park for these boys
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COMMUNITY spirit was strong in one Sheffield neighbourhood as almost 1,000 people put on a united front against racism and crime.

Families flocked to Abbeyfield Park for Sumfest UK Love, Peace and Unity Music Festival, organised by volunteers in an effort to reduce anti-social behaviour and other problems facing residents of Burngreave.

Music from all corners of the world - from R‘n’B, to reggae and rock to pop - blasted from the main stage as DJs, dancers, drummers and bands from as far afield as Glasgow and London took to the stage alongside hand-picked local talent.

The green space was transformed into a children’s paradise full of rides, games and a bouncy castle, while stalls, food and drink kept adults entertained.

Youngsters got to try their hand at stilt-walking and activities organised by charities Sure Start and Action for Children.

Organisers welcomed Lord Mayor of Sheffield Coun John Campbell, who was invited to open the day-long festival.

The event coincided with the launch of Steel City Radio, which replaces Burngreave Community Radio.

Run by volunteers, the wide variety of shows are presented by city residents from all walks of life covering a broad spectrum of topics, such as the music-minded Boom Show and the Oden Brothers’ Movie Show.

Community stalwart Aisha ‘Special K’ Wilson was behind the day’s proceedings. She was keen to organise something to bring residents of the area together to promote local pride following a rise in incidents of racism and crime.

It was aimed at celebrating the diversity of Burngreave, which has Pakistani, Yemini, African and Afro Caribbean populations.

The team behind Sumfest UK is a not-for-profit events company which relies on the hard work of volunteers and is largely dependent on funding grants and donations.

Laura Gardiner, promotions manager for Sumfest UK, said: “Over the past few years we’ve had a lot of problems in the community and Aisha has done a lot of work which has made a real impact.

“This was her idea as a way to get kids of the street and have a day where all the families could come along and enjoy something together.

“It was a great success, I think on the whole throughout the day we had around 1,000 people coming in and out of the park.

“The radio did interviews throughout the day which we sent straight to the station.”