BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 27 March '15

‘ONE SMALL STEP’ WILL HELP LOCAL COMMUNITIES CLEAN UP AND GREEN UP NEGLECTED SPACES

Keep Scotland Beautiful, the charity for Scotland’s environment, is launching a call for community groups and projects from all over Scotland to take part in the It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) initiative.

Registration is now open for 2015 entries, and interested groups are being encouraged to register now to take part and make their local spaces clean and green. The call comes as evidence shows the ‘civic pride benefits’ of communities coming together to improve their local environments.

Clean up and green up

Designed for community groups seeking to make environmental improvements, the It’s Your Neighbourhood initiative celebrates, supports and empowers those cleaning up and ‘greening’ up their immediate local areas.

Supported projects in previous years have sought to improve local streets, patches of communal neglected land and shared outdoor spaces.

This year, It’s Your Neighbourhood has been awarded funding from the ScottishPower Foundation, meaning that community groups involved in 2015 will benefit from increased support and an award ceremony event that will celebrate successful projects across the country.

The benefits

Recent research from the Carnegie Trust has reiterated that local environmental improvements can make significant benefits to health and wellbeing in local communities. On top of that, Keep Scotland Beautiful has found that community gardening projects are a great way of getting out and keeping active, meeting new people of all ages and ‘building civic pride’.

‘Year on year, projects coming forward have shown incredible imagination and commitment – I fully expect this year to be no different.

‘If you, or your community group, have an idea, or are embarking upon a project that will improve your local community environment, take one small step and make sure you sign up before the closing date at the end of April 2015.’

Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful

It’s Your Neighbourhood projects benefit the community as a whole, as neglected sites become cleaner and tidier – enhancing cities, towns and villages. Evidence from participants in previous years has demonstrated transformational benefits to local communities.

Click here to find out more and register to take part.