CHILDREN in South Shields have been doing their bit to become little community champions.
Young residents of the Prince Edward Estate, in Harton Nook, took part in a two-day event to improve communal gardens in the area.
Each day, 15 children teamed up to form the Young Residents’ Groundforce, and worked to tidy up and replant communal areas across the estate.
The event aimed to bring people together, improve the appearance of the estate – which is made up of 261 Home Group properties and about 250 privately-owned homes – and bring about a sense of pride among its residents.
The estate is made up of Borough Road, Centenary Avenue, Dunlop Crescent, Gloucester Place, The High Road, Kent Place, Lisle Road, North Close, School Approach, South Close, St Mary’s Avenue and York Way.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, opened the event by thanking volunteers for their time, and being the first person to add a plant to the new communal areas.
The young volunteers were joined by a group of more than 40 adults, made up of a number of customers and staff from Home Group and their contractor, Glendale, and local police officers.
Funding for the event came from Home Group, who donated £3,000, and South Tyneside community area forum social scheme, who donated £2,800. An extra £250, discounted plants and free labour were donated by Glendale.
Rob Young, who is part of Home Group’s local residents’ viewpoint team, and helped plan the event, said: “The two days have brought people on Prince Edward Road estate closer together on our gardening project, and shown that community spirit in the 21st century is alive and well.
“The event has brought joy and laughter to children and adults alike.”
Local businesses Nestle, Impack Apparel, Tasty Bites and Time Exchange also supported the event by donating sweets, printing T-shirts, providing food for buffet lunches and lending the volunteers gardening equipment.
Christine Jeffers, customer service manager for Home Group, said: “Everybody involved was keen to make this project a success, and it’s made a real difference to the look and feel of the estate.
“The children all planted name sticks to show which plants are theirs, so we’re hoping they will continue to look after the gardens in the future.”