Diversity of Swindon celebrated in special performance at school

By Barrie Hudson - 24 June 2022

  • Mayor of Swindon Cllr Abdul Amin was among the guests

    Mayor of Swindon Cllr Abdul Amin was among the guests

Lawn Manor Academy hosted an evening of music, dance and poetry to celebrate the diversity of Swindon.

Victoria Williams, left, and Cristina Bennett of Swindon City of Sanctuary
Guests included Mayor of Swindon Cllr Abdul Amin, fellow councillors, parents and young people.
The school, where more than 30 languages are spoken by pupils, is working closely with Swindon City of Sanctuary, an organisation which seeks to build a culture of welcome, inclusion and support.
Swindon City of Sanctuary runs a programme called Schools of Sanctuary,whose volunteer leader is Cristina Bennett.
She said: "Swindon City of Sanctuary is in existence as part of a whole network across the nation. There are over 120 across the country, and the whole idea is to promote a culture of welcome and inclusion in our communities.
"That's done in many different ways, but in Swindon we're working with a number of organisations and businesses to be able to think of ways to make Swindon a welcoming and inclusive place.
"A lot of our work is with schools, and this evening is a way to showcase what Lawn Manor Academy does as an inclusive school." 
A key organiser of the evening, Lawn Manor Academy head of PHSE (Personal, social, health and economic education) William Smith, said: "This is a celebration of welcomes. We're celebrating the diverse culture of Swindon as a whole as well as our school, and we're going to celebrate it tonight with some songs, some dance, some poetry and some film."  
The hour long stage show by students included a Korean song, Indian classical dance, a film about the creation of a collective poem called Twenty Welcomes, individual poems by Year 10 students from diverse backgrounds and band performances. 
Mayor of Swindon Cllr Abdul Amin said: "They are celebrating diversity and inclusion, which is wonderful."
The performance was also attended by Matt Holland, a key figure on the Swindon cultural scene and director of Swindon Festival of Literature.
He said: "The reason I come to something like this is because, long before the word 'diversity' became familiar, some of us knew that a wide range of cultures would always enrich a single culture, and that mixing cultures is what makes the world go round - what makes the world wonderful."

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