neighbourhood was today rewarded with first prize in a new
competition to find England's top community space project.
Residents Group impressed the judges with an ongoing project to tidy
up their estate. The diverse project involved the whole neighbourhood
in litter collections, planning for a new community garden and
putting up hanging baskets on local housing. The triumphant project
will receive£6000 to enhance their work including a plan to tackle
graffiti with a large scale mural project.
Announcing the 'Picture of Change' national winner at the Delivering
Sustainable Communities Summit, Phil Hope, minister at the Office of
the Deputy Prime Minister, said:
'I am delighted to be able to name the Albion Residents Group as the
new national public space champions. The project is a wonderful
example of a whole community coming together and making their
neighbourhood a cleaner, safer and greener place to live in. What
particularly impressed me was that residents of all ages got stuck in
to the tidy up, whether it was the youngsters picking up the litter
or the older people who helped with the planting.'
'The government knows that change led by the community will often be
the most effective and long lasting. People want to feel proud of
where they live but often don't feel they can make a difference. With
over 400 entries, 'A Picture of Change' has shown that communities
across the country are proving that you can. We are committed to
making sure communities are central in deciding what happens in their
area, outlining new proposals yesterday in our five year plan,
'People, Places and Prosperity'. I hope people will take up the
challenge and make a real difference'.
Accepting the award Carole Woodward, chair of the Albion Residents
'I was just thrilled to hear that we were the top project in the
North West. Albion's a great estate, but winning the national prize
means extra cash that we desperately need for our next project,
getting local youngsters involved in a mural on some concrete walls
that are covered in graffiti right now. And once they're involved
they'll be helping look after it'.
'A Picture of Change' is a new competition to uncover local groups
who have made a real impact in making their neighbourhood cleaner,
safer and greener. The competition is run by the ODPM, in partnership with Groundwork and sponsorship from Barclays SiteSavers.
Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Groundwork added:
'Judging the Picture of Change competition was a really difficult
task as all of the regional winners had a fantastic story to tell.
The response to the competition shows just how many people are
committed to improving the quality of life in their neighbourhoods.
Everybody that entered the competition can be proud of what they have
achieved. It also shows how much more can be done if we all pull
together - government, agencies and the communities we serve.'
1. 'A Picture of Change' was open to local groups in England who have
been working voluntarily to make their neighbourhoods cleaner, safer
or greener. For example youth groups, schools, Friends of Parks,
communities who have worked with Warden, NDC or Home Zone schemes
etc. Further information and access to all the entries can be found
2. Entrants were required to illustrate in words and pictures what
has changed in their local park, street or housing estate and the
impact it has made on the people that live there. Entries included
action against anti-social behaviour, the creation of community green
space and allotments and neighbourhood tidy-up operations. The
standard of projects entered was very high and it has been decided
that all entries will be showcased on cleanersafergreener.gov.uk
3. Albion Residents Group are based on a housing estate known locally
as the dog track which was earmarked for possible clearance. The
whole community, from young children through to the elderly
residents, were involved in clean ups and physical improvements.
Starting off with small activities such as putting up hanging
baskets, they moved onto bigger planting projects involving local
children in painting pot plants as well as planting seeds and trees.
The group are now working to develop a plot of space into a community
garden where all members of the community can meet and enjoy their
4. The total prize will be£20,750. Regional prizes will be£1,000
for first place,£500 for second place and£250 for third. The
national winner will receive£5,000. The national winner will also be
offered professional advice from a local environment expert.
5. The national finalist was announced at the Delivering Sustainable
Communities Summit today. The summit, 31 January -
2 February 2005, Manchester, is the largest event of its kind in the
UK involving 2000 delegates from the UK, Europe and the wider world.
It aims to set a vision for the future and create opportunities for
both developing and sharing best practice as well as provide a
platform to work with experts from the public, voluntary and private
sectors. Visit www.odpm.gov.uk/summit for updated information about
6. The regional winners were announced on the 26 January 2005:
Region Winning Entry
East Chestnut Young Voice
East Midlands Rother Community Action Partnership
London Carshalton Lavender
North East Skelton Villages Environnent Improvement Group
North West Albion Residents Group, Charleston
South East Howard Street Project
South West Indigos Go Wild
West Midlands Peach Tree Community Association
Yorkshire and RCG Tenants & Residents Assoc Priory Road &
The Humber Girnhill Lane