West Auckland blossoming thanks to green-fingered volunteers

From left, Durham County Council members Cllr Rob Yorke, Cllr Brian Stephens, Cllr Christine Wilson and Audrey Beck, West Auckland in Bloom Group volunteer on the village green.

A newly established green group is already making an impact in its area thanks to additional funding.

The West Auckland in Bloom Group, made up of local residents and volunteers, blossomed with the main aim of sprucing up the village.

As part of the team’s improvements, ten planters featuring attractive floral displays are in full bloom and recently contributed to its entry in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) competition.

Cllr Rob Yorke and Cllr Christine Wilson offered financial support, contributing £2,000 from their Bishop Auckland and Shildon Area Action Partnership (AAP) Neighbourhood Budget towards the cost of environmental improvements.

This was boosted by a £500 grant from Durham County Council’s civic pride team, as part of the RHS IYN campaign.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “Volunteer groups like West Auckland in Bloom, which offer their free time, make such a difference to their communities. Green spaces and colourful flowers not only make a place more attractive but bring people together and create a sense of pride of place.”

Volunteer Audrey Beck, a member of the group, said “The improvements to the area have made people happy and have really brought the community together.”

Pauline Walker, senior civic pride officer at Durham County Council said:

“Each year, as part of the RHS IYN competition, we offer up to £500 worth of funding, to a maximum of 15 groups, in an effort to encourage volunteer-led environmental improvement projects.

 “It is a great opportunity for people to get together and make a positive contribution to brighten up their local neighbourhoods and help County Durham shine.”

Cllr Rob Yorke also used AAP Neighbourhood Budget to contribute towards the World Cup Centenary Sculpture that is located on the village green.

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