A MULTICULTURAL playscheme in Prestwich was dubbed "a dream come true" by Bury's First Citizen.

The borough's mayor Cllr Monty Adler made his comment at a party to mark the end of the summer event which brought together children from all backgrounds.

Prestwich Muslim Parents Association ran the three-week group at Sedgley Park Methodist Church and 60 children regularly went along each day.

To mark the end of the group and to celebrate its success, the mayor joined parents, councillors and children for an Indian buffet and gave his seal of approval.

He said: "To me, this is a dream come true. I hope it is only the beginning and the foundations of not just a multicultural playgroup, but unity in the community. Unity is why we are here and if we have that we can live together with our neighbours without fear."

Cllr Adler added: "Children can appreciate being friends irrespective of their religion.

"I feel sure that, with the aid of councillors, the scheme will go from strength to strength."

Children who went to the scheme were supervised by ten adults and enjoyed painting, sewing, football, cricket and other games.

The association's chairman Abdul Waheed said the leaders had done a splendid job in giving the children a happy and enjoyable summer.

He added: "I hope that such a scheme will continue every year in Sedgley Park."

The organisation's secretary Mohammed Nawaz said he believed the group was unique in Bury and added that it had been such a success that some children had to be turned away.

Mr Nawaz added: "The association is a non-profit-making organisation geared to forging cultural links and better community relations."

He thanked Bury Council's voluntary services department leaders for their backing and Sedgley minister, the Rev Lawrence Copley, for allowing them to use the building.

Mr Nawaz said: "I apologise to those children who had to be turned away — and their parents.

"I hope we will be able to secure a much bigger and more appropriate venue next year."