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Community garden launch

PUBLISHED: 10:31 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 21:31 07 July 2010

Young people in Thetford have been given a financial boost to help kickstart their quest to make the area they live in a brighter place.

Members of the Abbey Neighbourhood Centre's two youth clubs are joining forces with older members of the centre to create a special community garden.

Young people in Thetford have been given a financial boost to help kickstart their quest to make the area they live in a brighter place.

Members of the Abbey Neighbourhood Centre's two youth clubs are joining forces with older members of the centre to create a special community garden.

And their plans have already been recognised by a national awards scheme that strives to provide communities with cash awards to drive small changes that can make a big difference.

The Thetford group has been celebrating receiving a £1,000 O2 It's Your Community Award this month that has enabled it to pay for essential tools, pots and plants for the garden.

It has also been given a £750 Green Grants award from the Moving Thetford Forward initiative.

Yesterday the team got to work for the first time on creating the centre's new garden.

Fiona Drew, secretary of ANCHOR (Abbey Neighbourhood Centre Helping Our Residents) and youth club volunteer, said the youngsters could not wait to get started on the project and that it would really help to brighten up the Abbey Estate.

She said it would be an ongoing project which would involve all of the 60 youngsters aged five to 15-years-old from the two youth groups.

Flowers, fruit and vegetables will all been grown in the garden and the fruit and vegetables will be used in the centre's café.

Mrs Drew said: “Creating a neighbourhood garden is a great way for the young people to get involved in a hands on project, learning about and looking after their environment and growing their own food.”

Katie Hyson, of the Conservation Foundation, who judges O2's It's Your Community Awards, said: “I am so please that It's Your Community has been able to help Abbey's Community Garden come to life.

“O2's It's Your Community programme was created to give people the opportunity to improve their local area for the benefit of the whole community - just like here in Thetford.

“I do hope that the young people of Abbey Youth Club will enjoy their new garden.”

Glendon McKnight, O2's branch manager at the company's Bury St Edmunds store, went to watch the Thetford team get to work on their new garden yesterday.

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