The Carholme Community Gala, an event aimed at bringing West End residents together to promote community cohesion between locals and students, offered attendees an upbeat start to the new academic year, although student turnout was lower than hoped.

Visitors to the Gala, which included events at St Faith’s Primary School and on the West Common, were treated to performances from Majestic Theatre School and the University of Lincoln Drama Society, as well as others, including orienteering on the common.

PC Rick Mosley of the Carholme Neighbourhood Policing Team, who had helped in the organisation of the event, represented Lincolnshire Police on a stall.

“It’s gone well. There have been a lot of people and young families around. It’s a chance for us to meet the community and get our message across, which is crime reduction advice and safety advice,” he said. PC Mosley also noted that it had brought together “a lot of different groups in the community”.

On the whole turnout to the event was good, in spite of a disappointing student turnout. Councillor Karen Lee, the brains behind the gala, believes that it was a step in the right direction and had been a positive first event.

One local resident said: “I think it’s very nice to bring the community together… it’s a nice mix of elderly residents, families, young people, and students. I think it’s really good.”

Another added: “I think it’s a shame that more people didn’t turn up… the concept is a fantastic idea. It’s really great that all the local groups have got together and tried to start something off. If it were to go on every year then I think it could be a really popular idea… something that brings the community together has got to be beneficial… I don’t have any problem with students and I welcome the diversity.”

Lincoln Students’ Union had a stall at the Gala to represent themselves and the students. Chris Charnley, the Union’s president, said: “It’s been a really good end to the week, with the new students arriving in Lincoln and entering into the community.”

“It just seems really appropriate at the end of the week that we are integrating the new students to the community, and re-integrating the returning students… we’ve had a great first year [at the gala] and we look forward to working with them again next year.”