Community together to make a difference

Kian O'Brien shows he is happy to help clean up his neighbourhood on the Burnside estate in Bedlington Station.
Kian O'Brien shows he is happy to help clean up his neighbourhood on the Burnside estate in Bedlington Station.

RESIDENTS on the Burnside estate in Bedlington Station went ‘MAD’ with a series of activities in their community.

Organised by social landlord Bernicia, a ‘Make a Difference’ event was held over three days aimed at engaging people and encouraging them to take pride in the neighbourhood.

Young people – and the young at heart – were encouraged to get stuck in with activities covering a range of themes.

A family fun day was overseen by kids’ favourite Peppa Pig, complete with outdoor games, face-painting and dancing, even taking to the streets with a ‘Just Jhoom Bollywood’ style dance session.

A litter pick saw free skip for bulky rubbish to improve the look of the neighbourhood.

And there was advice about gardening and a competition for those with green fingers.

Also on offer were aerobics, to encourage people to improve their health and well-being, and advice on money management and ways to gain skills in order to improve employment prospects.

Six-year-old Kian O’Brien worked tirelessly to show his determination to improve his community and received a Certificate of Appreciation and shopping voucher for his effort – and for wearing a huge smile all day.

After shaking everyone’s hand Kian said: “I’ve had a great time and our estate looks really good after everyone came out to help.

“Me and my friends are going to make sure living on the Burnside estate keeps getting better.”

Gemma Robson, community investment team leader at Bernicia, said: “The Make a Difference event has been a huge success and is a great example of how we can achieve so much more by working together, creating a community spirit that can help improve life in the neighbourhood.”

Feedback is being used to develop a ‘You Said We Did’ action plan and support is to be given to volunteer community champions and a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

For more information about Bernicia and its range of services visit www.bernicia.com