Community project boosting life on Carbrooke estate

PUBLISHED: 06:30 31 August 2012

Grace Richards (3) on the bouncy castle at the Carbrooke Project fun day. Picture: Ian Burt

Grace Richards (3) on the bouncy castle at the Carbrooke Project fun day. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

High levels of community spirit and teamwork which has helped turn around life on a Carbrooke estate were celebrated at a fun day for all.

The event on Blenheim Grange in the village on the outskirts of Watton took place yesterday.

It featured groups involved in the Carbrooke Project, which is working to improve the estate and has helped half the amount of anti-social behaviour on Blenheim Grange in one year.

The project was set up in October last year and includes housing associations, Breckland Council, the Wayland Partnership, Sure Start and the Blenheim Residents’ Association, among others.

Philip Sampher, chairman of the residents’ association, said: “This is going to be an exciting place to keep an eye on because it is going to grow and could be special.

“But it is down to the people to tell us what they want and it is up to people working together.

“It is good we have got these groups sitting around the table to improve the community.”

He added: “There is community spirit here in abundance.”

Shelley Power, neighbourhood manager for Orbit East housing association which is involved in the group, said: “There were problems, roadways were unfinished and the planned play area wasn’t made. Residents gave us their top priorities and we’ve been working on these month to month.

“The project is committed to changing things for the better and making the area a real community.”

Sgt Lance Ogbourne, of Norfolk police, said there had been “massive improvements” in the area.

There has been a 54pc reduction in anti-social behaviour from June 2011 to July.

A so-called “community cabin” has been set up on the estate for the residents’ association to meet.

It is hoped a new play area will be created on Lancaster Avenue and a central hub will be built for people on the estate.

Jan Godfrey, chairman of the Wayland Partnership, said: “It’s hard to put your finger on what is making the positive changes possible but it’s the little things that make a big difference.”

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