FOUR churches are holding a fun day to bring people in West Croydon together.
Organisers of next month's West Croydon Community Festival hope the event will help to rebuild pride in an area still scarred by memories of the riots in 2011.
"The idea is to bring people of all ages and backgrounds together to have some fun," said Katie Martin, of West Croydon Baptist Church.
The church, in Whitehorse Road, has teamed up with three others – Praise House, Christ Church and Church of Pentecost – to organise the festival, which is now in its third year.
The event, at Wilford Road recreation ground, includes face painting, hair braiding, arts and crafts stalls, Zumba, a tug of war and many other activities. Most importantly, says Mrs Martin, its all free.
"So many people are struggling financially at the moment so to be able to put on something free, that we're funding, is good news," she said.
"There are also many who feel isolated and may not know people in the community.
"If they can come to the festival and feel they have connected with someone that would be great.
"If you feel part of a community you will start to take pride in it and to care for it again. It's about putting a bit of love back into the area."
The fun day will be an "open crowd community festival", an idea promoted by Fusion Youth and Community. Marty Woods, a leading figure of the group, is a member of the West Croydon Baptist congregation.
West Croydon Community Festival will take place at between 2pm and 5pm on July 12 and 13. Sunday's festivities begin with an informal church service in the park at 11am followed by a free barbecue.