An annual summer community festival organised by a group of Sutton volunteers is returning for its eleventh year.

The St Helier Music and Community Festival (SHMACF) arrives at Sutton arena green space on Saturday June 22, brining more than 80 community and charity stalls, two live music stage, displays from local dance, boxing and gymnastics groups, along with a famous Mascot race.

Also new for 2019 is a food-zone, offering an eclectic range of stalls from around the world to the expected 5000-6000 attendees.

Susan Peters, chair of the SHMACF committee, said: “This festival has always been a family event and we are incredibly proud of everyone involved in bringing this to the community again this year, especially the local businesses who have really supported us this year, enabling us to create a larger, more exciting event for all the community to enjoy.”

The St Helier Music and Community Festival gives local charities and groups, ranging in size from a couple of volunteers to larger operations, a unique opportunity to promote their causes to their community.

Karin Flower, founder of Celeb FC, which organises celebrity football matches for charity, said: “I am delighted to have been asked to assist again with the organising of the SHMACF, as for Celeb FC, small UK charities and community groups are closest to our heart.

"This is truly an inclusive event, with something for everyone and an event I am very proud to be involved with."

Last year's edition of the festival was thrown into doubt due to financial difficulties.

The St Helier Music and Community Festival Committee was founded in 2018 after previous funding sources were no longer accessible.

A January 2018 committee meeting worked out that £8,000 was needed for the SHMACF to run successfully.

Stall organisers were asked to pay £15 to set up for the first time, a change that was generally accepted in order to ensure the event's survival.

Susan Peters said: “I believe this festival is a family event and have always enjoyed attending over the years, to see it end would be incredibly sad for every member of the local community.”

Entry to the festival is free, as is the entertainment available throughout the day.

The SHMACF will be held on the St Helier Open Space, next to the David Weir Leisure Centre in Middleton Road (SM5 1SL), from Midday to 6pm on June 22.

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