Hundreds have gathered at various locations across Southampton for an event that aims to bring communities together. 

On Saturday, May 11, Saint Mary's Church hosted its fifth annual Saints in the City Day. 

The event is run by over 150 volunteers in three different locations and is aimed at encouraging people to come together and join in various outdoor activities. 

These include litter picking, gardening projects, face painting and bouncy castles for children.

Sophie-Rose Fanner, Saints In The City Lead, spearheaded the event. 

She said: “It’s all about blessing the city, we love Southampton and wanted to bring the community together to have fun.

“Outside the church on Chapel Road, it’s very much family orientated, there’s bouncy castles, face painting – we also have a café around the corner where people can go and it’s all free.

“In Hoglands Park with the help of the Saints Foundation we’ve set up an inflatable pitch where children can play football and there are teas and coffees.

“We also have a church on Lodge Road and there’s a community day going on there, as well as around 30 litter pickers walking around the city picking up litter and meeting people out and about, inviting them to our lunch at 12.30pm.”

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The event organisers worked alongside various community projects with three schools and eight charities helping to highlight community spaces in the city.

Sophie-Rose said she also wanted to acknowledge the importance of events such as this with a proportion of people still feeling isolated following the pandemic.

She added: “I think there is still that stigma from Covid of people being stuck inside, lonely, and suffering with mental health, so to be able to come and use green spaces, have fun and connect with the community – which you might not ordinarily do – is really important.

“Even around Saint Mary’s, there are a lot of flats and not everyone has green space, so to make the church available on days like today is vital.

“We do other family events throughout the year – we’ve got a summer BBQ coming up – and people have said to us ‘you’ve saved us money by doing this,’ so it goes to show it can really make a difference.”