Different cultures will come together to celebrate Stoke-on-Trent’s diversity at a vibrant community event.

Hartshill International, organised by Hartshill and Harpfields Occasions (HAHO), will celebrate the 50-plus nationalities of the people who live, work, study or worship in the area and the wide range of languages spoken.

Locals from all over the world will share their costumes, food and flags at the North Staffordshire Medical Institute on Saturday, May 5th from 10am to 3pm.

There will be music, singing and dancing, information stalls and craft demonstrations as well as Traidcraft toys, gifts and homewares for sale.

HAHO chair Joe Andrew said: “According to recent research, Hartshill is the most diverse area in the city. There’s something like 50 languages spoken in the area.

“It’s partly because of all the hospital and university staff living around here, but for other reasons as well.”

Maps, jigsaws and language guides will be available to buy on the bookstall, while refreshments will be provided by Bentley’s Catering.

He added: “There are all kinds of displays illustrating international life, there are stalls with food from all around the world, there are flags and games for children to play.”

Now in its fifth year, the event at the NSMI’s Hartshill Road site will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Councillor Ross Irving.

Programme of Events

The family fun day is just one of a packed programme of events organised by HAHO throughout the year, many of which use the Institute’s facilities.

Joe said: “We organise a series of activities on an annual schedule. The very first one was celebrating the centenary of the federation of the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent.

“We also do more low-key things – we have four seasonal quizzes, we have a Christmas fair and an annual lecture.”

This year’s lecture, taking place at the Medical Institute on October 16th, will be given by Archbishop Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.

HAHO was founded in 2010 with the aim of “promoting community cohesion and inclusion” and gained an official constitution in 2012.

It has received funding from local councillors Randy Conteh and Sean Pender, as well as the Big Lottery Fund.

The community group is a generous supporter of the NSMI charity, which provides grants to support pioneering medical research in the North Staffordshire area.

The NSMI has awarded more than £58,000 so far this year to fund studies into heart disease, cancer and muscle wasting in the elderly.

For more information, visit www.nsmedicalinstitute.co.uk, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Anyone interested in making a bequest is asked to email manager Jacqui Robinson at jacqui@nsmedicalinstitute.co.uk.

For more information on HAHO, visit www.haho.org.uk or drop in to the Institute for a leaflet.