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SALFORD GROUP CROWNED PUBLIC SPACE CHAMPIONS

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A Salford residents group's dedication to improving their...
A Salford residents group's dedication to improving their

neighbourhood was today rewarded with first prize in a new

competition to find England's top community space project.

In a highly competitive field of over 400 entries, the Albion

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

Group said:

'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.'

Notes

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

at www.cleanersafergreener.gov.uk

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

local area.

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

the summit.

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

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