Parks in a South Tyneside town are being given a new lease of life after residents and the Council decided to come together to spruce up their green space.
Springwell and Valley View Park in Jarrow used to attract anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, dog mess, vandalism and litter. But following the creation of a community group dedicated to improving the area, families are now starting to return to use the park for the right reasons.
Primrose Parks Alliance - which was formed when Friends of Valley View and Springwell Park and Keep Mill Dean Clean merged - works in partnership with the Council which provides equipment for litter picks, delivers training to volunteers and provides maintenance of the parks.
Since the group was constituted three months ago, around 240 volunteers have been recruited and five major litter picks have been held which have seen the removal of three tonnes of waste and debris from the area. The group has also worked with children of local Valley View School who designed a logo for the alliance and also plans to work with nearby Jarrow School.
Councillor Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Co-operatives said: "As a co-operative council, we are committed to working with and empowering our communities to deliver transformational change.
"The success of this alliance - and others like it - is testament to the outstanding community spirit and civic pride we have in the Borough and which the #LoveSouthTyneside campaign continues to drive."
Priorities for the alliance include blocking off park exits to motorbikes, cutting back overgrown vegetation, providing more signage and bins and targeting and fining those who leave litter and dog mess or who damage the park.
Caroline Hall, founder and Committee Secretary of the Primrose Parks Alliance, said: "The #LoveSouthTyneside was the driver of this initiative as we are all ordinary people who are passionate about improving the area where we live.
"By working collaboratively with the Council we can advise them on where they can make improvements that will have the biggest impact. For example, a lot of bushes have been cut back which has made the space more open and less threatening for people.
"Our work is starting to make a massive difference with families now starting to enjoy the parks again but we have a long-term vision to make the area beautiful again and make improvements for everyone to enjoy."
To find out more about the alliance visit the Primrose Parks Alliance Facebook page. To discover more about the #LoveSouthTyneside campaign, visit www.lovesouthtyneside.co.uk