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Pots of enthusiasm and paint

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Brushes at the ready - here are some of the Bromford Living colleagues who spent a day splashing on fence paint, picking up rubbish and planting flowers in Birmingham.

The tidy-up blitz by more than 20 members of Darrin Gamble's West Midlands neighbourhood team transformed the streetscape at Mount Road and Booth Street, Handsworth.

Out went the litter and broken fence panels.

IN came new wooden panels followed by pots and pots of garden fence paint while customers pitched in by putting up some attractive hanging baskets of flowers.

The all-day effort led by Darrin, regional head of neighbourhoods for Bromford - one of the leading providers of affordable housing in central England - and neighbourhood manager Karen Dean was a great success.

Pausing for a break in between fetching hot drinks, Karen said: "Support from colleagues and customers has been tremendous. By working together we've made a real difference to the look and feel of the place - and had a lot of fun at the same time."

Marian Whatmore, housing manager for Handsworth and Hockley, was in total agreement.

"We're trying to give that programme, 60 Minute Makeover, a run for their money," joked Marian, who spent much of the day painting head-high fencing alongside her daughter, Emma O'Sullivan, also a housing manager.

"The whole of the West Midlands team have turned up to help. It makes such a difference. It's a really worthwhile thing to do - you get to see colleagues in a different setting, have a laugh and do something really worthwhile at the end of the day."

A passing customer said: "This is brilliant. You have made a real difference to how it looks. Now it's up to us - the residents- to keep it looking this way."