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Cemetery work project gets underway in town

PUBLISHED: 13:49 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:28 27 April 2018

Volunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou Chapman

Volunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou Chapman

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Volunteers have braved the rain and tended to graves in Great Yarmouth.

Volunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou ChapmanVolunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou Chapman

They joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign.

The project will see participants restore two sites at the cemetery over the course of the next six weeks, on Tuesdays from 1pm-4pm.

The campaign is being operated in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers, as well as the Norfolk Community Foundation and The Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust, and 14 volunteers joined around half a dozen Flagship staff for the first session.

The project aims to boost the biodiversity of the green-space while also improving the wellbeing of those involved.

Volunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou ChapmanVolunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou Chapman

The majority of the opening afternoon of the campaign was spent with secateurs in hand, clearing overgrown gravestones.

As drizzle developed into rain, participants downed tools and sheltered under the trees with hot chocolates.

But volunteer, Steve Stroud, said he was glad for the rain.

He said: “If we had the heat of the marathon this would not be nice.

Volunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou ChapmanVolunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou Chapman

“Last April I was told I had three days to live. I went to the doctor with what I thought was a chest infection and it turned out I have a heart condition.

“Now I am enjoying living on borrowed time and doing things like this to keep myself busy and healthy.”

Historian, Paul Davies, was also on hand to detail the heritage of the site they were restoring and explain the meaning of the symbolism on the gravestones.

Callum James, from Flagship Group, said: “Volunteering will create a sense of value and pride for those taking part as they’re making a positive difference by enhancing the local area. We hope lots of people will come along to make the project a success.”

Volunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou ChapmanVolunteers joined staff from Flagship Group at Kitchener Road cemetery on Tuesday afternoon to take part in the housing association’s first ever Community Campaign. Picture: Lou Chapman

Mark Webster, from The Conservation Volunteers, said: “The cemetery is a fascinating place to work, right in the centre of Great Yarmouth. We have some wonderful wildlife and extraordinary history.

“I’m sure people who join us for this project will really enjoy conserving their local heritage.”

To get involved, contact Mr James on 0845 258 6210 or callum.james@flagship-group.co.uk

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