Youngsters clean up King Street

Young people from the New Day christian camp cleaning up the King Street area in Norwich.Photo: Bill

Young people from the New Day christian camp cleaning up the King Street area in Norwich.Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Hundreds of youngsters from across the country took time out to clean up Norwich's King Street this week as part of a regeneration project to improve the area.

The 400 young people were volunteers from New Day, an organised camp of more than 7,000 young christians at the Norfolk Showground, who sent 100 helpers each day to give back to the community.

Working with Norwich City Council, businesses and community groups, the young volunteers have cleared rubbish, painted a mural and helped with a commmunity garden.

Carol Jones, east neighbourhood manager, said: 'It has been absolutely fabulous, so many kids wanted to get involved, and it's nice for residents to see youngsters helping to clean up the area.'

And with the uncovering of an old yard running down to the river Wensum, they have also been learning about the rich history of the ancient road, with a timeline showing King Street's colourful past painted onto the hoardings at Howard House.

Chris Bennett, conservation and design officer, said: 'It's quite a historical part of the city, there would have been yards running down from King Street to the river for merchants and trade as Norwich was quite a prominent port at one time.'

Parts of the area, which would have been a hive of activity in their heyday, have become overgrown and derelict in recent years.

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Much of this has been earmarked for redevelopment.

Heidi Reger, 16, of Attleborough, said: 'I wanted to come and help as I've been fortunate and I wanted to pass this on to other people.'

Colby Butlin, 12, of Bury St Edmunds, was helping to paint the Garden of Eden mural. He said: 'It's nice to be creative and do something good for the community.

'I'd like other people to have the same opportunity that we've had.'

Councillor Paul Kendrick, Labour councilor for the Catton Grove ward, said: 'What's important is seeing young people working together to help the community as a whole.'

Multi-agency work on the King Street area will contimue until March 2014.