'Fantastic' community day in south Shropshire town pulls in the crowds

Residents of Bishop's Castle proved they are ready to mix and mingle after two years of covid by turning out in force for a community celebration day.

Bishop's Castle Community Celebration Day at SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle. Olivia Edwards, aged two, has early aspirations to be a firefighter!
Bishop's Castle Community Celebration Day at SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle. Olivia Edwards, aged two, has early aspirations to be a firefighter!

More than 40 organisations took stands at the town's SpArC Leisure Centre and Theatre with the intention of letting residents and people from further afield know the kind of things they can get involved in.

Bishop's Castle Community Celebration Day at SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle..Kelly Kirk and Helen Milburn from Girl Guiding.

Keith Whiddon, of Bishop’s Castle Community Partnership, said: "We even had people coming from Birmingham who are thinking of moving to Bishop's Castle who wanted to find out what goes on here.

"There were also people from the town and surrounding areas who wanted to find out what is going on here."

The event was a joint effort between the community partnership and the town council and involved the organisers trying to find contact details for everything happening in the town.

Bishop's Castle Community Celebration Day at SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle. Mayor of Bishop's Castle Josh Dickin looks forward to the day.

Mr Whiddon said some information they had was out of date, making it a useful starting point for future events. They are hoping to be able to produce an updated directory.

"We gave organisations a stand free for the day to showcase what they do and tried to get the community along to join in," he said. "A lot of people did not realise all the amazing things that are going on. We had a really lovely mix of clubs and agencies working across Shropshre."

Attractions also included a bouncy castle in the squash court and an inflatable assault course in the swimming pool.

Bishop's Castle Community Celebration Day at SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle. Jo Pritchard from Bishop's Castle Community Food Bank..

Dignitaries also turned out, including town mayor Josh Dicken, Shropshire High Sheriff Selina Graham and Deputy Lieutenant for Shropshire Nicky Kershaw.

"We are asking groups to fill in evaluation forms to tell us what they thought of the event but anecdotally they are all saying it was fantastic," said Mr Whiddon.

Town resident Jennifer Hepke said she is “Very impressed by the huge efforts to show that Bishop’s Castle is still alive and growing after lockdown – it turned the light on again!”

Mr Whiddon added that they would be definitely repeating the community day but were not sure when and how yet.

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