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Give a Day to the City initiative is transforming Carlisle

give a day to the city

Almost 1,000 volunteers across 37 projects have helped give Cumbria’s best-loved city a makeover

A series of exciting projects have been taking place across Carlisle recently, helping the city look sparkling and new in the summer sun. Having started back in 2015 with 12 projects, the initiative now consists of 37 projects and is supported by between 800 and 1,000 volunteers.

The idea behind the Give a Day to the City initiative is to encourage people to help each other and take pride in their area. The man who first had the vision of the projects, Andy Fearon, enabled the scheme to take place by sharing his idea with Carlisle Ambassadors — a group of businesses and individuals who work to promote the city.

This year’s projects began on 1st July with a litter picking session on Engine Lonning off Newton Road. Other projects also include refreshing many of the areas in and around Carlisle Youth Zone, and improving the appearance of the city’s youth club. This has involved painting the concrete flooring and investing in new beds so that children can plant vegetables and enjoy gardening during the summer.

Another area which has seen a major transformation is Rickerby Park, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and the park’s own Friends group. The park is looking lovely ahead of the Cumbria in Bloom judging on 3rd August.

Paul Nedved, councillor for the Stanwix Urban area, expressed his excitement for the work at Rickerby Park, saying:

“I was delighted that so many volunteers gave their time for the combined Give a Day to the City and Make a Difference Day preparations for Britain in Bloom in Eden Bridge Gardens in Rickerby Park.”

Nedved went on to express his particular thanks to “McDonald’s in the Community, staff from the Rural Payment Agency, the Friends of Rickerby Park, volunteers who had signed up to Give a Day and Stanwix residents.”

The renovation, which took place on 3rd July, involved planting, pruning, brushing, litter picking and cutting back the high grass around the Woodland Education area.

“It shows the true spirit of Carlisle with people freely giving their time. Many thanks to all who have been involved with Stanwix in Bloom over the last few months.”

Many other projects have already taken place in the city, such as a litter pick in Heysham Park. This was attended by 20 mini police offers from Newton School, teaching staff, police community support officers, Riverside staff, councillors and mayor Jessica Riddle.

Riddle, who is also councillor for Belle Vue, commented that the litter pick went very well, and reflected on her own delight for the initiative overall:

“Give a Day to the City is such a great idea. It actually makes people aware of what is happening and how they can help themselves. We were talking to the children about plastic and the things they can recycle like cardboard and glass. Newton School’s mini police looked so smart as well and they are so enthusiastic.”

And this is just the beginning. Multiple projects have been planned and carried out across the city already, including creating walkways to Oak Tree Animal Charity in Wetheral, and providing goodie bags to young carers in the area. Carlisle Carers, a charity supporting unpaid carers, will also have its allotment tended to, while Carlisle’s NSPCC centre will be redecorated.

Educational bodies in the area are particularly involved in the project, such as Trinity School, where pupils provided gifts to residents at local care home Willow Park, and Carlisle College, who have offered the assistance of 170 staff members.

All this and more is helping Carlisle cement its place as one of the most inviting and caring communities to be involved in.

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