A garden to be proud of

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City officials gathered to celebrate the transformation of a derelict patch of land into a Garden of Eden for the community by young people.

People met at the Omega Centre in Southsea to toast the good news. Portsmouth teenagers were beaming with pride as they were praised for their work with a team of 25 volunteers to remove five tonnes of rubbish from a buried garden at St Peter's Church in Somers Town.

The five-month project was managed by Portsmouth-based charity Motiv8 which supports 13 to 19-year-olds in improving their life chances, and overseen by national youth charity Catch 22 as part of its Community Space Challenge programme.

Gary Palmer, Portsmouth services manager for Motiv8, said: 'The team had to remove decades of garden waste and work hard on understanding the project's objectives before coming up with their ideas. We are proud of them all.'

The Rev Alex Hughes, of St Peter's, added: 'It has been a fantastic project that has completely transformed our backyard. We now have a wonderful outdoor space for all the clubs and societies who use the church.

'From mother and toddler groups to our regular coffee mornings, a lot of people are going to enjoy it and we are grateful to everyone who has helped make this possible.'