Hundreds turn out to tidy up Tees communities

HUNDREDS of people have rolled up their sleeves to help clean up communities across the Tees Valley over the past month.

220415SBC Primrose Hill Events  088

18 May 2022

Housing provider Thirteen held six ‘Big Clean Up’ events between April 4 to April 28 across neighbourhoods Middlesbrough and Stockton.

Joined by scores of local residents, as well as volunteers and staff from community organisations, the events saw over 100 people ‘muck in’ to help tidy up their local communities.

The events included a range of environmental enhancements, such as tree planting, litter picking and bird box making, as well as community wealth building initiatives such as cooking demonstrations, job fairs, vaccination buses and live music and competitions.

The first of the events took place in Middlesbrough’s Grove Hill from April 4 to 7, with events also taking place in Primrose Hill, Stockton; Pallister Park, Middlesbrough; Gresham, Middlesbrough. Similar events in Owton Manor and Dyke House in Hartlepool are also set to take place in the summer.

Angela Corner, head of community resilience at Thirteen, said: “We were absolutely blown away by the response to the Big Clean Up events.

“People of all ages turned out to support the initiative and it was great to see so many people not only taking pride in their communities but coming together to celebrate their work and enjoy live entertainment. Especially after the past two years.

“We can’t thank everyone enough for taking the time out to get involved and we are looking forward to working closer with residents as we build on this success and plan future events.”

Sandra Cochrane, a resident in Stockton, was one of the volunteers to participate in the Primrose Hill Big Clean Up event.

She said: “I’ve lived here for over 50 years and I’ve seen a lot of changes. My road has never looked so good.”

“Thirteen has been amazing these last few days. I’m so pleased.”

Thirteen also took the opportunity to launch a series of five-year locality plans that it has developed in partnership with communities to help make improvements in each of the six areas.

In each area, Thirteen is working with partners to host annual Big Clean Up events and implement the locality plans over the next five years.

The individual locality plans include a series of initiatives planned to improve community cohesion.

Partners include the local authority, Cleveland Police and Fire Brigade and a range of other local community organisations.

“Over the past 12 months, we’ve spoken to residents in each of the six areas about the issues that were most important to them,” Angela added.

“The locality plans will respond to this consultation, developing new projects and activities, bringing in funding and supporting the communities to focus on the changes that they want to see.”