IT’S an initiative that has transformed communities and given them renewed confidence.
Now beneficiaries of the Love Your Street project have come together to celebrate what it has done for them and those they serve.
We thought it would be a great idea to help people focus on what the local shops can offer.Janice Burkinshaw, chairwoman of Milton Neighbourhood Forum
Organisations are provided with £500 grants through the scheme, spearheaded by volunteer programme Portsmouth Together, to change communities.
And last night groups which won money and spent it on activities in the area were each presented with plaques at Portsmouth Guildhall.
Thanks to their cash, members of Milton Neighbourhood Forum held a ‘Marvellous Milton Market’ on Halloween to promote the importance of local shops and treat residents to a bumper programme of activities.
Leaflets taking people on a trail of the shops were made and traders kitted out the front of their businesses in a Halloween-style.
There were displays in the local community centre, the local library was transformed into a spooky den and The Fort Cumberland Arms pub was decorated and had a bouncy castle.
Janice Burkinshaw, chairwoman of Milton Neighbourhood Forum, said: ‘The idea was not to drive, but walk from near by roads, to find out how easy it was to walk to the library, the butchers, the sweet shop, the hairdressers, the fruit and vegetable shop and the cafes.’
She added: ‘We are all aware of the pressures that are on local shops, particularly with the new Tesco store opening.
‘We thought it would be great to help people focus on what the local shops can offer.’
Other winners included residents of Cheltenham Road, Paulsgrove, who used their £500 to hold a street party.
The funding has been made available thanks to The Southern Co-operative.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, Tory deputy council leader, praised the work.
He said: ‘Love Your Street is a great example of the council working together with the private sector to help local communities to help themselves. Small grants and a little recognition is all a lot of people need to get them motivated to improve their locality.’
Jessica Hughes, of The Southern Co-operative, said: ‘We are proud to be the sponsor for Love Your Street as it is a fantastic initiative which encourages people to work together and meet new people from their local area, all whilst making a big improvement to their community.
FULL LIST OF LOVE YOUR STREET WINNERS
Residents of Cheltenham Road, in Paulsgrove, held a street party for local residents and organisations
The Milton Neighbourhood Forum launched the Halloween-themed ‘Marvellous Milton Market’ in conjunction with local businesses to give the area a boost
Southsea Greenhouse, a community garden scheme near Canoe Lake, set up a Strawberry Tea project which saw volunteers help local isolated people come together and meet new people
The 147 gardening club from Paulsgrove received two plaques for their community garden projects at the Paulsgrove Adventure Playground and Paulsgrove Children’s Centre, where they created beautiful flower beds for the children and families who use the centre.
Wimbledon Park community group, in Southsea, for their ‘Patch park Pop-Ups‘
Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust for their wildlife watch group in Southsea.
Other groups which have been recognised by Love Your Street and who have received funding for projects are;
Portsmouth Deaf Association, Flying Bull Academy,Beatrice Road Residents, Somerstown Adventure Playground, Milton Neighbourhood Forum, Cornwallis Community Orchard and Blendworth House Social Club, Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust, Goldsmith Infant School Parent Council, Wimborne Junior School, Student Council St Edmunds Catholic School, Motiv8 South Ltd, Cottage Grove Primary School, The Social & Emotional Wellbeing Support Service, Hillside & Wymering Youth Club,
League of Somerstown Tenants, John Pounds Community Centre, Brook Club, The Stacey Community Association, Portsmouth Food Partnership, Ark Ayrton Primary Academy