Calderdale Council reaps benefits from legal graffiti wall set up for youngsters

Persuading politicians of the benefits of setting up a legal graffiti wall has allowed parks staff at Calderdale Council to tackle a problem that was threatening its green spaces.

Young people in the area wanted a space for themselves in Wellholme Park, but there was a historical problem with graffiti.

The parks department helped youngsters set up a group called Project Brighouse to create a legal graffiti area in the park.

Calderdale Council technical officer Samantha Ward helped lead the initiative, which included events to clean up Wellholme Park.

"The owner of a local business provided paint and brushes for the young people to cover up the old graffiti in the park," said Ward. "It was a chance for them to show their commitment to the project."

The council in turn provided a legal graffiti area at the park's skate ramp and involved professional graffiti artists in teaching the young people the difference between "bad graffiti" and graffiti as an art form.

The Project Brighouse group successfully bid for £1,500 in funding for the scheme.

Ward added: "It has provided greater opportunities for young people to take part in decision-making in a service that affects them. It has been a challenge for us in the parks department moving away from the technical side of grounds maintenance to working with the local community and addressing their needs. But we have achieved a Green Flag and the community element is a strong part of that."

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