HUNDREDS of people got out into the fresh air to enjoy games and food in Saturday's sun, courtesy of one community group.

St Paul's Church Community Group in Astley Bridge hosted a day of fun and games for the organisation's annual garden party.

Linda Haworth, the garden party co-ordinator, said: "It all went very well."

Over the past eight years, the annual garden party has been an opportunity for small groups to get together to raise money.

This year, more than 500 people stopped by to show some love for their local community, said the organiser.

Ms Haworth, 70, said: "It is strictly a community garden party, not a fundraising event for the church.

"The idea is to showcase all the local community groups from the area and give them a chance to make money for their own causes.

Friends of Astley Bridge, local Scout groups, Bolton Hospice supporters and nearby primary schools all hosted stalls on the day.

Games such as hook-a-duck and tin can alley were played, with refreshments of tea and cake for worn out kids.

Entertainment for guests was provided by the Phoenix Knights Barbershop Choir, conducted by Mayor’s Consort Don Fairclough.

Piper Dave McLoughlin, who will next week be performing for the Queen at Balmoral, and singer Rosie Critchley also provided music for the summer's day.

The event was also sponsored by Bolton Lions, who provided support for the day.

Bringing the event together was something of a challenge for Ms Haworth, who began organising the event in March, but she rounded up some volunteers and got to work.

Ms Haworth, of Sharples, said: "As far as the stall holders go, a lot have them have done this before so we contacted them. It was just a case of asking them to come again.

"What was more difficult was rounding up volunteers, we put up all the gazebos. There was a lot of hard work involved in that."

After months in the making, Ms Haworth was able to sit back and relax on the day, enjoying the results and hearing the praise of happy customers.

She said: "I enjoyed it when the day arrived and there wasn't anything more I could do.

"Everybody was saying how much they enjoyed it too."