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University of Sussex leads community clean-up of Riley Road

The clean-up in Riley Road came about as a result of ideas from local residents.

The volunteers collected rubbish and household waste in Riley Road, picked up litter and cleared front gardens.

Among those taking part in the clean-up were the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Cllr Mo Marsh (back row, third from right).

University of Sussex staff and students led a clean-up this week of a residential street in the Bevendean area of Brighton. 

The team of volunteers spent an afternoon clearing rubbish and helping to maintain front gardens in Riley Road, working alongside ward councillors, staff from Sussex Estates and Facilities (SEF), City Council workers and local residents from the community.

Among those taking part were the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Cllr Mo Marsh, who is also a councillor in the Moulsecoomb & Bevendean ward.

The clean-up came about as a result of ideas from local residents.

In 2015, the University established a permanent presence in the city centre by opening an information centre on Lewes Road. Conversations with people coming into the information centre – and with those at the many Local Action Team (LAT) meetings the University regularly attends – highlighted Riley Road as an area that would benefit from a makeover of this type.

Dean Spears, Head of Housing at the University, said: “Over the last 18 months, members of the Housing team have attended more than 120 area meetings, sharing ideas with community groups about how we get involved to encourage good neighbourliness locally. 

“One year ago we promised to deliver four community-led street clean-ups across the city every year, and the Riley Road work fulfils this promise.  More than 100 volunteers have helped across the four clean-ups this year.

“As many staff from the University live locally, with their families attending local schools and contributing to local businesses, we were inundated with staff wanting to volunteer with our students from their area.”

Following a short briefing, the volunteers headed to Riley Road, where they collected rubbish and household waste, picked up litter and cleared front gardens. They were supplied with refreshments from the Real Junk Food Project.

Dean added: “When we wrote to local residents in advance, many contacted us to volunteer in the project - and some had even started work before we arrived. We would like to thank everyone for their help.”

Over the last year, the University has made street clean-ups a regular part of its community engagement work. Since pledging to tackle four city streets a year, there have been successful clean-ups in Viaduct Road (within the St Peter’s & North Laine ward), Beaconsfield Road (also in St Peters & North Laine), Washington Street (Hanover & Elm Grove) and now Riley Road (Moulsecoomb & Bevendean). Work will continue from September, with another four streets identified.

If you are a local resident and would like to make suggestions for your area, please share your ideas with us.

You can find out about more ways to get involved in our community projects during our first-ever community festival, on Sunday 25 June; get your free ticket online.

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex and SEF
Last updated: Friday, 16 June 2017


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