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Can-do attitude transforms graffiti walls

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Dozens of would-be Banksys grabbed the chance to make their mark at a graffiti wall makeover near their Gloucestershire homes.

Two days of do-it-yourself sessions for young people were organised by award-winning Bromford neighbourhood advisor Clare Bartlett on behalf of Cirencester's Youth Town Council.

Enthusiastic youngsters turned up in droves at the Kingshill bridge on Beeches estate in Cirencester - all of them eager for the chance to have a go at creating eye-catching street art alongside two experienced graffiti artists.

Spray cans in hand, the youngsters and their mentors from Bristol-based Elusive Designs transformed two concrete walls and the supporting columns of the bridge.

"The results speak for themselves - it's brilliant, absolutely brilliant what they have achieved by working together," said a delighted Clare, who won a regional National Housing Federation prize for her work on part-time secondment with the town's Ozone club for teenagers.

"The kids have loved every minute and you've only got to look at what they've created to see the sessions have been a great success. The guys from Elusive were fantastic - they helped set things up, brought all their expertise into play and encouraged the kids to have a go.

"We also want to say a really big thank-you to our Bromford colleagues at the Elliot Road depot for giving us the Jewson community fund each year to spend on community initiatives like this one.

"The graffiti project cost £2,080 - and most of the money came from the Jewson community fund but it did include some money raised by the youth town council at the Churn family fun day."

The sessions - lasting from 10am to 4pm last Thursday and Friday(August 4 and 5) - were organised after some earlier graffiti art covering the concrete walls was lost as a result of repair work carried out by the county council.

"It was a shame to see the original art work go but it did create an opportunity for us to get local people involved in creating some new art," said Clare.

"We advertised the fact that everyone - whatever their age - was welcome to come along and have a go or just watch the graffiti artists at work. It was great to see so many people respond -especially on the first day when it was raining buckets.

"The finished work is just great - it really does brighten up the place - and I know that everyone who took part will feel a real sense of ownership. Every time they walk by they will be able to point at the graffiti and say I did that bit or that bit."

To find out more about how Bromford is creating places where people really want to live, read the Annual Review 2011, Bromford Street. You can download a PDF version or view the report online.

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