Diamond Jubilee celebrations inspire clean-up operation in Barnards Yard area of Norwich

People living in one of central Norwich's social housing areas have got together to tidy up their local community in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Residents of Barnards Yard, off Colegate, are often given homes there because of situations such as homelessness and drug or drink addiction.

This has, on occasion, led to anti-social behaviour, littering and drunken behaviour affecting private residents who live in the area.

So a group of local people living in Barnards Yard took it upon themselves last week to have a tidy up of the area.

Organised by David Johnson, working alongside Sarah Howard from the St Martins Housing Trust charity, the project was organised to try and improve relations in the local community.

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David, 46, has lived in Barnards Yard for three months. He explained: 'Traditionally the area is known as trouble.

'A lot of the young people who are here, it is not their fault they are in the position they are in, that they are homeless, or because of drinks, drugs or domestic problems.

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'A lot of my friends here live in the private homes and their houses are getting dirtied up because people here are given no encouragement to tidy up their own environment.

'So I thought the Queen's jubilee would be a good opportunity to get people together and show that we can look after our own community.'

Graffiti was cleaned off walls and a community garden was tidied up as the group tried to 'build bridges' with people who may have been alienated in the past.

Sarah from St Martins Housing Trust, which provides food, shelter and accommodation for homeless people in Norwich, added: 'It's about taking pride in their neighbourhood and it's nice that we have got a few of the community come out to bring a nicer feel to the community.'

For more information about St Martins Housing Trust, call 01603 766627 or go to www.stmartinshousing.org.uk

- Are you organising a community project in Norwich? Contact Local Life editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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