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Great Britain

Volunteers aim to make an eyesore near BRI into a public garden

A NEGLECTED part of Bradford is being transformed into a peaceful and attractive sitting area thanks to volunteers from a new campaign group.

Chris Thody, a semi-retired landscape gardener, from Bingley, has been a member of the Bradford4Better group for around two months and a few weeks ago began rallying volunteers to help clean up the city.

For the past two weeks a group of volunteers, led by Chris and B4B founder Inayah Sher, has been working on the old trolley bus turning circle opposite the main entrance to Bradford Royal Infirmary, in Duckworth Lane.

The idea is to clear the area, which the council believes is privately owned, of all the debris which has built up over the years and create a garden where the public can sit and relax. The neglected patch measures around 20 by 10 metres and the group has already spent several hours’ work there.

He said volunteers were giving their time while benches and planters were being built and provided by Baildon Men’s Shed members.

One member is providing some plants while Chris is growing more at his home.They hope to have everything completed in a few weeks. The work will also include repainting the railings which run along part of the wall.

Inayah added: “Both Chris and I saw the area and thought it would be a good place to clean up. It is right opposite the hospital so staff will be able to sit here too. It is our way of giving something back to the hospital which does so much good for everyone.”

The group, which began in April, has more than 1,700 Facebook members and regularly organises clean-ups around the district. One in August saw more than 250 volunteers take part.

It is also encouraging people to nominate areas to be spruced up and is looking for a street which can be nominated for a makeover as long as the residents continue to maintain it.

“Ideally, we want to clear up areas and have two or three people ‘adopt’ it to keep it clear of litter.

“I am going to adopt this old turning circle and will pick up litter and leaves.

“It’s all about people power and together we can do things,” Chris added.

B4B is also looking at revamping another neglected area to the back of the hospital, as well as an area of land in Leeds Road.

The group has the support of several businesses in the district and at least 20 mosques.

As well as campaigning against litter, anti-social fireworks and dangerous driving, B4B is also looking at piloting a volunteer warden scheme to monitor traffic outside schools to prevent inconsiderate and dangerous parking.

Another member is also wanting to start a school walking bus to reduce traffic outside schools and promote better health.

Another Bradford-wide clean-up campaign is taking place in Bradford on Saturday, September 21, where people are being encouraged to pick a neglected area and clean it up.

“We are asking people to nominate an area and register it with us and then send us before and after photos so we can publicise the work done. We hope this will get more people on board,” Inayah added.

Details of B4B’s work can be found on the Bradford4Better Facebook page.

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