'˜Vandals won't deter our work'
Caring residents have teamed up with staff of a local community centre to help Blackpool's streets look '˜blooming lovely' in time for summer.
Claremont First Step Community Centre, residents and The People’s Health Trust came together for the Claremont Ten Streets project.
The work involved revitalising alleyways and public areas in between Ashburton Road and Carshalton Road by filling planters and cleaning up.
Cathy Adams, Finance Officer at the Claremont First Step Community Centre, said the idea of the project was to allow the community to take pride in the place they live and to teach children to care about their environment.
She said:”We were awarded a win in the Alleyway category in the Blackpool in Bloom competition.
“This spurred the group on to extend the clean up and this year five alleyways have been successfully cleaned up, and planters have been filled and put out.”
Despite the team’s endeavours being hampered by vandals, Cathy and the Steering Group are determined not to allow these acts of vandalism to hinder their progress:
Cathy added: “The Steering Group is very proactive in its endeavours to make the local area one to be proud of but it has not all be plain sailing.
“Not so long ago one of our planters were stolen and just at the weekend some of the residents came out to find that someone had deliberately vandalised a few of the planters by taking out some of the more flowering plants that were a focus in some of the planters.
“We are convinced it was not children as the plants taken were dug out and taken away as if those plants had been specifically targeted for their vibrant colours and profuse growth.
“Although this is disappointing and frustrating, it has made the Steering Group more determined to carry on and not let people spoil what we are aiming to achieve: residents’ pride in their community.”
The team also plays a vital role in local charity efforts, having hosted several fund-raising nights in pubs and shops, as well as family fun days.
In December last year, the Steering Group of the campaign put together Christmas hampers for families and elderly people in the community.
Small trees were mounted on lamp posts, as well as a large Christmas tree in Egerton Square funded by the People’s Health Trust and local councillors Lynn Williams and Ivan Taylor.
Cathy added: “This summer we have swapped the mini trees for hanging baskets and they are certainly bringing a smile to people.”
Anyone who would like to get involved in Claremont Ten Streets can go along to the meetings, held on the first Tuesday of the month at Claremont First Step Community Centre. Call (01253) 299306.