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Many dirty hands make light work

Primary school children joined community leadership students to rejuvenate neglected wasteland

Student volunteers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have joined forces to help make a difference to a local community in Burnley.

Students from the FD Community Leadership course teamed up with the Canal and River Trust, Burnley Fire Service, St. Mary’s Primary School, Burnley College, Veolia, Burnley Council and local residents to help rejuvenate an area of Lowbank by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The students worked with the primary school children to produce artwork about the wildlife on the canal. They then helped the youngsters learn about how flowers grow before getting their hand dirty. The children planted herbs, bulbs, seeds and flowers in beds at the site before watering the flora with a fire engine hose.

“This was a fantastic day which put a lot of smiles on a lot of people’s faces”

Bob Walley, a Lecturer in Community Leadership at UCLan, said: “This was a fantastic day which put a lot of smiles on a lot of people’s faces, not least the local children who got to help regenerate their area.

“This site has been described as a derelict and disused ‘dump’ local residents in the past so we hope this start up event will hopefully be the beginning of a long term plan to develop the Lowbank area of Burnley which has been neglected for a while.

“We hope it will be a place where food growing projects could be developed with help from ourselves, Burnley College and the local community.”

“We hope it will be a place where food growing projects could be developed with help from ourselves, Burnley College and the local community.”

The young children received their own pot and seeds to take home and nurture as a thank you for their hard work. Bob added: “It was another really good event for me and the Community Leadership students who helped out. The UCLan Centre for Volunteering continues to make new partnerships and create new opportunities for our students to get involved in.”