A primary school near Longford held an event for children and their families to get together and celebrate community and inclusivity.

On Tuesday, June 12 parents, teachers and children came together at Longford Primary School to celebrate the community around the school, public services, and services which help to educate and aid people of all ages.

The event, which ran from 1pm until 4pm, was organised by Wiltshire Council, which approached the school asking it to host the day.

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The stalls on display included the fire service, ArtCare from Salisbury District Hospital, Julian Houses' Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and Boater outreach team and Wiltshire Council Libraries, as well as Wiltshire Scrap Stores offering resources for kids to let out their creative sides. Background music was being played by Colin Martin and Colin Maple, both from Salisbury.

ArtCare from Salisbury District Hospital had the children create a coat of arms that symbolized things they liked around mental health and well-being. The idea was taken from Longford Castle and its own coat of arms, with the castle located just down the road from the primary school.

Members of the fire service were also in attendance Members of the fire service were also in attendance (Image: Newsquest)

Project Coordinator, Louise Jordan-Dench, said: "It's good to have the opportunity to be involved with the school, and to support our local children and young people."

Naomi Hendry, from Julian House, said: "It's great to see this event including the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community as it can often be forgotten, and that is one of the issues we face in ensuring all communities are accepted and integrated.

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"Recognising this early and giving the kids this experience early on in their development will bode well in the future to ensure our society is as inclusive as it can possibly be. It aids in accepting people from all walks of life, and to help understand different circumstances and situations people may be living in."

Wiltshire Council Libraries has a reading competition coming up over the holidays where kids are being tasked with reading six books of their own choice throughout the Summer break.

Community library manager, Philip Tomes, said: "I'm really pleased to have been invited along today, and am looking forward to coming back again to see the library refurbishment when it is all completed! We want to encourage kids to read as there are so many different genres and types of books available for them to choose from, and we want to ensure that young people see the benefits of reading, and enjoy it too."

Sara Tedds from Wiltshire Scrap Store was joined by Nicole Powell from the Ethnic and Minority Traveller achievement service to put on a stall of arts and crafts for the children to get stuck into. The art and designs were centred around the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and Boater community, with kids tasked with designing things related to this theme. Some of the displays included fairgrounds, carousels, canal boats and much more. 

The children also had the opportunity to run around the school grounds and exercise in its outdoor play area. At the same time, parents, teachers and member of the parent-teacher association relaxed with a cup of tea or coffee and a cake.

Rev Jonathan Herbert said: "It's fantastic to see a school celebrating the diversity of cultures. It's great to see the school celebrating the traveller community, which is often hidden but still suffers a lot of prejudice.

"Days like this help to break down those ways, and help to create a fair equal society rid of ignorance and fear."

Longford Primary School Headteacher, Louise Knipe, said: "This has been an opportunity for the pupils and parents to chat to a number of local organisations and hear about the help and support they provide in the area.

"It's been a lovely day and its great to see so many of the kids and parents here relaxing and enjoying themselves on a fun afternoon."