DEDICATED community activists have been handed £5,500 to improve areas across Portsmouth.
The cash was split between nine groups carrying out 11 projects, from healthy eating to tackling social isolation.
All grant winners of the Love Your Street initiative, met on Saturday at Portsmouth Central Library to kick-start their schemes.
Clare Seek, 39, of Wimbledon Park Road, Southsea, is using the £500 cash grant to fund three pop-up activities for people near to the park in Southsea.
She said: ‘The park is our central public space, it’s just neighbours joining together to building the community.
‘It’s going to be a range of activities in the park. We’re going to redo the graffiti wall with artist My Dog Sighs.’
She added the group, Wimbledon Park Patch, is made up of residents near the park.
The Love Your Street scheme – funded by The Southern Co-operative and supported by The News – is linked to Portsmouth Together, a project started after Portsmouth became a City of Service, which works with volunteers on city challenges.
Volunteers and community groups submitted applications for £500 grants, with the successful ones meeting on Saturday.
Brian Bracher, from Portsmouth Together, said: ‘The idea is part of our Portsmouth Together programme, looking to encourage more people to volunteer, give up their time.
‘It gives them the chance to take ownership and get involved in the projects where they live.’
Year 10 pupils at Mayfield School, Jess Lawler, 14, and Margarita Pogosyan, 14, are involved with setting up a garden at the school. Jess said: ‘Our project is about having vegetables and encouraging people to eat healthily at the same time.’
Winning groups include: 147 Gardening Club in Paulsgrove; Wildlife Watch in Southsea; Southsea Greenhouse; Love Baffins; Eastney Area Community Association, nearby residents to Avocet Close, and Albert Road Traders Association.