Residents delighted with 'day of action'
A community ‘day of action’ has helped improve the ‘look and feel’ of an estate recently troubled by anti-social behaviour.
Residents from the Retford Road Estate in Boughton, Ollerton, were supported by representatives from a number of partner agencies to clean up streets and clear away household clutter.
Residents teamed up with Newark and Sherwood District Council, Newark and Sherwood Homes, Ollerton and Boughton Town Council, the Dukeries Academy, Nottinghamshire Youth Service, Nottinghamshire Police and the Furniture Project.
Three large rubbish skips were filled, donated furniture and scrap was collected by volunteers from The Furniture Project, roads were swept and young litter pickers were out in force as part of the collective effort. An estimated 20 tonnes of rubbish was removed from the estate which included recyclables such as metal, textiles and small electrical items. There was also nearly half a tonne of silt and dirt cleared by the road sweeper. Some of the items will be recycled and used to help individuals and families in need.
Street surgeries were held for residents to air their views and health advice and checks offered by the district council’s health improvement team. Up to 50 young people took part in activities run at the Dukeries Young people Centre including arts and crafts, creating bird feeders and planting in the centre’s garden. There was also a climbing wall, barbecue and film presentation. Staff on a ‘skills for employment’ programme and young people helped run the café, selling hot drinks and cake.
District council Anti-Social Behaviour Officer Terry Bailey said that the residents deserved the support provided during the ‘day of action’. He said: “They have put up with a lot of nuisance behaviour recently and we hope that, now that this has been dealt with, we can move forward. Residents deserve to have a clean, nuisance-free estate to live in.”
Staff from the Dukeries Academy, led by its Principal Claire Leitheiser, and local children joined in the litter-picking mission. She said: “The Dukeries Academy is delighted to be involved in this worthwhile community event. It is great to feel such a community spirit and we look forward to being involved in future collaborative projects.”
Residents were delighted with the results of the day-long operation. Paula Fretwell, who lives on Manvers View, said: “It was a brilliant idea. There was large turnout and this has made a big difference for both me personally and to the whole estate.”
Amanda Hempsall and Lisa Edmonds, who are neighbours on nearby Bentinck Close, agreed. Amanda said: “It was good to be involved and a good opportunity to get rid of all your rubbish.” Lisa added: “People really do look out for each other in the community here and things like this have helped bring people together.”
Up until October last year police were dealing with up to 20 incidents a month of anti-social behaviour but, following enforcement action to deal with the trouble-makers, there has been a marked decline, according to local beat officer Police Constable Dawn Adams.
PC Adams said: “We had been dealing with up to 20 anti-social behaviour incidents a month but following enforcement action to deal with persistent trouble-makers there has been a marked decline. The change is remarkable and has resulted in a dramatic decrease in reported incidents.”
Rebecca Rance, chief executive at Newark and Sherwood Homes, said: ‘We are pleased to be a part of this great partnership project designed to improve the local environment. It was great to see everyone involved in the activities, including our tenants, staff, partners and other agencies. We will continue to work with the local communities across the district to create great neighbourhoods.”
Youth worker Angela Lane, who travelled from Newark to help pick up the litter with young people from the youth club, said: ‘It’s been a great day, we started in the morning with clearing rubbish around the Youth Centre and worked our way around the estate. It’s very positive to get the kids involved in the day, that’s why we wanted to support this great initiative.”
Ollerton and Boughton Town Council town clerk Karen Wakefield said: “The town council was pleased to work with the Safer Neighbourhood Group and the local community to give the estate a well-deserved boost from which we can move forward.”
The Furniture Project Manager Carole Batey said: “The Furniture Project is here to help the community in whichever way it can. Sometimes people, for whatever reason, just need a helping hand to get started and that was why we took part in the day.
“It was nice to see so many of the tenants and their children helping their neighbours to recycle items and clear away rubbish. There was a real community atmosphere on the day and we will be happy to take part in any future events.”
Julianne Tring, youth worker at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: "We were delighted to be supporting the community event. It was great to get young people involved in positive activities during the half term and help clean local Retford Road Estate.”